“a Monopolistic Firm Has Market Power Whereas a Perfectly Competitive Firm Has No Market Power. Perfect Competition Is, Therefore, Clearly Preferable to Monopoly, Say Economists.

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Monopoly is a firm which is the only seller of a unique product which has no close substitutes. In a market of perfect competition, the level of competition is very high, and each firm is a small entity, a price taker. There are four assumptions for a monopoly to exist: there is only one seller but many buyers, high barriers to entry (both natural and artificial), a highly differentiated product such that it is difficult or impractical to copy the product, and imperfect information. There are four main assumptions for a perfectly competitive market, which are: there are many sellers and buyers, low barriers to entry, homogenous product and perfect information. This essay attempts to explain the reasons for the high market power of a monopoly, low market power for a perfectly competitive firm, and the limitations of monopoly and the choice between a monopoly and a perfectly competitive market. Yes, it is true that monopoly has very high barriers to entry while a perfectly competitive market has very low barriers to entry. Barriers to entry refer to the reasons which deter potential entrants from entering the market. There are two types of barriers, which are natural barriers and artificial barriers. Monopoly often has high barriers due to various reasons. Firstly, when there is very high economies of scale of the existing monopoly firm, the starting cost of potential entrants will be very high as a result, and this is often because of high fixed costs, such as massive initial capital outlay followed by declining LRAC. Secondly, when there is limited and small market size, localized monopoly might arguably be present because the demand from the consumers is very low due to say a small population, which cannot support more suppliers. For example, there will be only one hairdressing shop in a small town because of its small population.

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