Microeconomics examines how entities, forming a market structure, interact within a market to create a market system. These entities include private and public players with various classifications, typically operating under scarcity of tradeable units and government regulation. The item traded may be a tangible product such as apples or a service such as repair services, legal counsel, or entertainment.
In theory, in a free market the aggregates (sum of) of quantity demanded by buyers and quantity supplied by sellers will be equal and reach economic equilibrium over time in reaction to price changes; in practice, various issues may prevent equilibrium, and any equilibrium reached may not necessarily morally equitable. For example, if the supply of healthcare services is limited by external factors, the equilibrium price may be unaffordable for many who desire it but cannot pay for it.
Various market structures exist. In perfectly competitive markets, no participants are large enough to have the market power to set the price of a homogeneous product. In other words, every participant is a "price taker" as no participant influences the price of a product. In the real world, markets often experience imperfect competition.
Forms include monopoly (in which there is only one seller of a good), duopoly (in which there are only two sellers of a good), oligopoly (in which there are few sellers of a good), monopolistic competition (in which there are many sellers producing highly differentiated goods), monopsony (in which there is only one buyer of a good), and oligopsony (in which there are few buyers of a good). Unlike perfect competition, imperfect competition invariably means market power is unequally distributed. Firms under imperfect competition have the potential to be "price makers", which means that, by holding a disproportionately high share of market power, they can influence the prices of their products.
Microeconomics studies individual markets by...