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13. Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly. CHAPTER. Profits, like sausages, are esteemed most by those that know least about what goes into them. Alvin Toffler Futurist, Author (1928 - ). C H A P T E R C H E C K L I S T.

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slide1

13

Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly

CHAPTER

Profits, like sausages, are esteemed most by those that know least

about what goes into them.

Alvin Toffler

Futurist, Author

(1928 - )

c h a p t e r c h e c k l i s t
C H A P T E R C H E C K L I S T
  • When you have completed your study of this chapter, you will be able to
  • 1Explain how price and quantity are determined in monopolistic competition.
  • 2 Explain why selling costs are high in monopolistic competition.

3 Explain the dilemma faced by firms in oligopoly.

4 Use game theory to explain how price and quantity are determined in oligopoly.

13 1 monopolistic competition
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • Relatively Large Number of Firms
    • Fewer than perfect competition.
    • Three implications are:
        • Small market share
        • No market dominance
        • Collusion impossible
13 1 monopolistic competition5
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • Product Differentation
    • Product differentiation -making a product that is slightly different from the products of competing firms.
    • A differentiated product has close substitutes, but not perfect substitutes.
    • When the price of one firm’s product rises, the quantity demanded of that firm’s product decreases.
13 1 monopolistic competition6
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • Competition on Quality, Price, and Marketing
    • Quality
    • Design, reliability, after-sales service, and buyer’s ease of access to the product.
    • Price
    • Because of product differentiation, the demand curve for the firms’ product is downward sloping.
    • Marketing
    • Advertising and packaging.
13 1 monopolistic competition7
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • Entry and Exit
    • Low to no barriers to entry, so the firm is unlikely to make economic profit in the long run.
  • Examples:
    • Restaurants
    • Gas stations
    • Hair salons
    • Dry Cleaners

These firms are monopolistic in that each one has a monopoly on their brand, image, service, ambience, menu, etc. They are competitive in the sense that there are many, many of them, and consumers can easily sub one for another.

industry concentration
Industry Concentration
  • Concentration ratio – percentage of sales accounted for by specified number of top firms in a market.
  • Usually reported as 4-firm, 8-firm, or 20-firm.
  • The higher the concentration ratio, the greater the degree of market dominance by small number of firms.
    • The range of concentration ratio is from almost zero for perfect competition to 100 percent for monopoly.
  • Can distinguish between market structures by concentration ratio
industry concentration10
Industry Concentration
  • Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) – sum of the squared market shares of all firms.
  • HHI = s12 + s22 + . . . .sn2
  • Ranges from 10,000 for pure monopolist to zero for infinite number of small firms.
  • The more unequal the market share, the higher the HHI value. The greater the number of firms, the lower the HHI.
industry concentration11
Industry Concentration
  • Increases in concentration typically yield increased prices and profits, ceteris paribus.
  • Squaring gives greater weight to larger shares.
  • Example: If there are five firms in a market with market shares of 40%, 30%, 16%, 10% and 4%:
  • HHI = 402 + 302 + 162 + 102 + 42 = 2,872
13 1 monopolistic competition13
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • The Firm’s Profit-Maximizing Decision
    • The firm in monopolistic competition makes its output and price decision just like a monopoly firm does (MC=MR).
13 1 monopolistic competition14
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION

1. Profit is maximized when MR = MC.

2.The profit-maximizing output is 125 pairs of Tommy jeans per day.

3.The profit-maximizing price is $75 per pair.

ATC is $25 per pair, so

4. The firm makes an economic profit of $6,250 a day.

13 1 monopolistic competition15
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • Long Run: Zero Economic Profit
    • Economic profit induces entry and economic loss induces exit, as in perfect competition.
    • Entry decreases the demand for the product of each firm. (demand curve shifts left)
    • Exit increases the demand for the product of each firm. (demand curve shifts right)
    • In the long run, economic profit is competed away and firms earn normal profit.
13 1 monopolistic competition16
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION

1. In LR, the output that maximizes profit is 75 pairs of Tommy jeans a day.

2. The price is $50 per pair. Average total cost is also $50 per pair.

3. Economic profit is zero.

equilibrium in monopolistic competition

The short run

The long run

MC

MC

F

ATC

pa

ATC

Price or Cost (dollars per unit)

Price or Cost (dollars per unit)

G

pg

Initial demand

ca

Demand

K

Later demand

MR

0

0

qa

qg

Later MR

Quantity (units per period)

Quantity(units per period)

Equilibrium in Monopolistic Competition
13 1 monopolistic competition18
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • Monopolistic Competition and Efficiency
    • Efficiency requires that the MB of the consumer equal the MC of the producer.
    • Price measures marginal benefit, so efficiency requires P=MC.
    • In monopolistic competition, P > MR and MR=MC, so P > MC – a sign of inefficiency.
    • Demand curve can’t lie tangent to minimum ATC, so tangency is at higher ATC – inefficient.
13 1 monopolistic competition19
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • But this inefficiency arises from product differentiation—variety—that consumers value and for which they are willing to pay.
  • So the loss that arises because MB > MC must be weighed against the gain that arises from greater product variety.
  • In a broader view of efficiency, monopolistic competition brings gains for consumers.
  • But firms in monopolistic competition always have excess capacity in long-run equilibrium.
13 1 monopolistic competition20
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION
  • Excess Capacity
  • Excess capacity-quantity produced is less than the quantity at minimum ATC.
    • Efficient scale = quantity at minimum ATC.
    • Figure 13.3 on the next slide illustrates excess capacity.
13 1 monopolistic competition21
13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION

1. The efficient scale is 100 pairs of Tommy jeans a day. (min ATC)

2. The firm produces less than the efficient scale and has excess capacity.

3. Price exceeds 4.marginal cost.

5. Deadweight loss arise.

13 3 oligopoly
13.3 OLIGOPOLY
  • Tight oligopoly – concentration ratio > 60
    • Duopoly - market in which there are only two producers.
  • Loose oligopoly – concentration ratio between 40 and 60.

Firms in an oligopoly are closely interdependent. Price and output changes will impact rivals, and likely draw some reaction from the rival firms.

Examples: airlines, aircraft, soft drinks, cellular service, computer chips, athletic shoes, cigarettes.

the battle for market shares

OLIGOPOLY

The Battle for Market Shares
  • Increased sales on the part of one firm will be noticed immediately by the other firms.
  • Increases in the market share of one oligopolist will reduce the shares of the remaining oligopolists.
  • There isn’t any way that a firm can do so without causing alarms to go off in the industry.
  • An attempt by one oligopolist to increase its market share by cutting prices will lead to a general reduction in the market price, eventually harming everyone.
  • This is why oligopolists avoid price competition and instead pursue non-price competition.
oligopoly
OLIGOPOLY
  • NON-PRICE COMPETITION
  • Product differentiation – Features that make one product appear different from competing products in the same market.
  • Advertising - strengthens brand loyalty, and makes it expensive for new producers to enter the market
  • Training - Customers of training-intensive products (computer hardware, software) become familiar with a particular system. Creates barriers to later competition.
  • Network Economies - The widespread use of a particular product may heighten its value to consumers, thereby making potential substitutes less viable.
the kinked demand curve
Close interdependence between firms

OLIGOPOLY

The Kinked Demand Curve
  • The degree to which sales increase when the price is reduced depends on the response of rival oligopolists.
    • We expect oligopolists to match any price cuts by rival oligopolists.
  • Rival oligopolists may not match price increases in order to gain market share.
the kinked demand curve27
The shape of the demand curve facing an oligopolist depends on how its rivals respond to a change in the price of its own output.

The demand curve will be “kinked” if rival oligopolists match price cuts, but not price increases.

The Kinked Demand Curve

OLIGOPOLY

slide28

Price Rigidity (Kinked Demand)

  • Oligopolistic firms are interdependent – when one firm changes, others will have to consider whether action is required on their part.
  • Firms tend to match price cuts and NOT match price increases.
  • When firm cuts price, Q will increase – if other firms also cut price, increase in Q will be minimal (inelastic)
  • When firm raises price, Q will decrease. If other firms do not raise their price, increase in Q will be more substantial (elastic).
  • Difference in relative elasticity will cause kink in demand curve at current price.
slide29

P1

Dno match

MRno match

MRmatch

Dmatch

Q1

slide30

P1

Dno match

MRno match

MRmatch

Dmatch

Q1

slide31

Profit max output is where the MR curve is discontinuous (where MC runs thru discontinuity). Marginal costs can increase or decrease without changing profit max output as long as MC stays in gap.

MC3

MC2

P1

MC1

MR

D

Q1

slide32

Response by other firms tends to discourage this firm from changing price, keeping prices stable (price rigidity).

MC3

MC2

P1

MC1

MR

D

Q1

oligopoly vs competition
Oligopolists may try to coordinate their behavior in a way that maximizes industry profits.Oligopoly vs. Competition

OLIGOPOLY

  • An oligopoly will want to behave like a monopoly, choosing a rate of industry output that maximizes total industry profit.
  • To maximize industry profit, the firms in an oligopoly must agree on a monopoly price and agree to maintain it by limiting production and allocating market shares.
13 3 oligopoly34
13.3 OLIGOPOLY
  • Collusion
    • When a small number of firms share a market, they can increase their profit by forming a cartel and acting like a monopoly.
    • Cartel- group of firms acting together to limit output, raise price, and increase economic profit.
    • Firms would behave collectively like a multi-firm profit-maximizing monopolist
    • Cartels are illegal in U.S., but they can operate covertly in some markets.
oligopoly35
OLIGOPOLY

Price Fixing

  • Explicit agreement among producers about price at which goods will be sold.
  • The most explicit form of coordination among oligopolists.
  • NOT LEGAL.
examples of price fixing
Coca Cola – The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of North Carolina agreed to pay a fine and give consumers discount coupons to settle charges of conspiring to fix soft-drink prices from 1982 to 1985.

Examples of Price Fixing

Examples of Price Fixing

School Milk – Between 1988 and 1991, the U.S. Justice Department filed charges against 50 companies for fixing the price of milk sold to public schools in 16 states.

Beer – In 2007, the European Commission fined Heineken and three other beer producers €273.7 (about $380 million) for operating a price fixing cartel in Holland. The beer cartel operated between 1996 and 1999 in the EU market.

Cases currently pending in court:

Chocolate – Hershey’s, Mars, Nestle and Cadbury (control 75% of chocolate candy industry) accused of conspiring to fix prices since 2002.

– Accused of price fixing and squeezing out internet competition by colluding with manufacturers on prices.

oligopoly37
OLIGOPOLY

Price Leadership (Dominant Firm Strategy)

  • Often one firm in oligopolistic market owns dominant market share.
  • Dominant firm can establish profit max price based on their cost structure, then smaller, or less aggressive, firms behave as price takers.
  • Example: Airlines
13 4 game theory
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Game theory is the tool used to analyze strategic behavior—behavior that recognizes mutual interdependence and takes account of the expected behavior of others.
13 4 game theory39
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • What Is a Game?
    • All games involve three features:
      • Rules
      • Strategies
      • Payoffs
    • Prisoners’ dilemma is a game between two prisoners that shows why it is hard to cooperate, even when it would be beneficial to both players to do so.
13 4 game theory40
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • The Prisoners’ Dilemma
    • Art and Bob are caught stealing a car: sentence is 2 years in jail.
    • DA wants to convict them of a big bank robbery: sentence is 10 years in jail.
    • DA has no evidence and to get the conviction, he makes the prisoners play a game.
13 4 game theory41
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Rules
  • Players cannot communicate with one another.
    • If both confess to the larger crime, each will receive a sentence of 3 years for both crimes.
    • If one confesses and the accomplice does not,the one who confesses will receive a 1-year sentence, while the accomplice receives a10-year sentence.
    • If neither confesses, both receive a 2-year sentence.
13 4 game theory42
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Strategies
  • The strategies of a game are all the possible outcomes of each player.
  • The strategies in the prisoners’ dilemma are
    • Confess to the bank robbery.
    • Deny the bank robbery.
13 4 game theory43
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Payoffs
  • Four outcomes:
    • Both confess.
    • Both deny.
    • Art confesses and Bob denies.
    • Bob confesses and Art denies.
  • A payoff matrix is a table that shows the payoffs for every possible action by each player given every possible action by the other player.
13 4 game theory44
13.4 GAME THEORY

Table 13.5 shows the prisoners’ dilemma payoff matrix for Art and Bob.

13 4 game theory45
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Equilibrium
  • Occurs when each player takes the best possible action given the action of the other player.
  • Nash equilibrium is an equilibrium in which each player takes the best possible action given the action of the other player.
  • The Nash equilibrium for Art and Bob is to confess.
  • The equilibrium of the prisoners’ dilemma is not the best outcome possible for the players, but is the best option if players don’t know what the other is doing.
13 4 game theory46
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • The Duopolists’ Dilemma as a Game
    • The dilemma of Boeing and Airbus is similar to that of Art and Bob.
    • Each firm has two strategies. It can produce airplanes at the rate of:
      • 3 a week
      • 4 a week
13 4 game theory47
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Because each firm has two strategies, there are four possible combinations of actions:
    • Both firms produce 3 a week (monopoly outcome).
    • Both firms produce 4 a week.
    • Airbus produces 3 a week and Boeing produces 4 a week.
    • Boeing produces 3 a week and Airbus produces 4 a week.
13 4 game theory48
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • The Payoff Matrix
  • Table 13.6 shows the payoff matrix as the economic profits for each firm in each possible outcome.
13 4 game theory49
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Equilibrium of the Duopolists’ Dilemma
  • Both firms produce 4 a week.
  • Like the prisoners, the duopolists fail to cooperate and get a worse outcome than the one that cooperation would deliver.
13 4 game theory50
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Collusion Is Profitable but Difficult to Achieve
  • The duopolists’ dilemma explains why it is difficult for firms to collude and achieve the maximum monopoly profit.
  • Even if collusion were legal, it would be individually rational for each firm to cheat on a collusive agreement and increase output.
  • In OPEC, member countries frequently break the cartel agreement and overproduce (more players = more difficult to prevent cheating).
13 4 game theory51
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Advertising Game
  • Coke and Pepsi have two strategies: advertise or not advertise.
  • Table 13.8 shows the payoff matrix as the economic profits for each firm in each possible outcome.
13 4 game theory52
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • The Nash equilibrium for this game is for both firms advertise.
  • But they could earn a larger joint profit if they could collude and not advertise.
13 4 game theory53
13.4 GAME THEORY
  • Is Oligopoly Efficient?
    • In oligopoly, price usually exceeds marginal cost.
    • So the quantity produced is less than the efficient quantity.
    • Oligopoly suffers from the same source and type of inefficiency as monopoly.