Before we go on to the other market forms, oligopoly and monopolistic competition, we will introduce a tool called game theory. Game theory is a much younger tool than most of the others we have discussed so far and has become a large field of research. Here, we will just present two different games.

These will get to represent the two different groups of games: normal form games and extensive form games. We will later use these tools in the analysis of oligopolies.

Monopoly can be viewed as the opposite of perfect competition. Instead of many firms, there is only one: the monopolist. This has important consequences for both price setting and the quantity produced.

Barriers to Entry

Why do monopolies arise? There are many different reasons, but all of them have to do with barriers to entry in the market. The reasons for these barriers could be

Structural . There are properties of the market that automatically shut competitors out:

Perfect Competition

So far, we have discussed how the consumers make their decisions, and what the producers’ production possibilities and cost of production look like. The consumers often take prices as given and choose quantities based on the prices. The question is how prices arise. One factor is, of course, the cost of production.

A producer uses raw materials, capital, and labor to produce goods and services. Here, we will present a simple model for how they decide how much to produce and which technology to use for the production. A large part of producer theory is very similar to consumer theory.

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