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Unlike a monopoly, with its high barriers to entry, a monopolistically competitive firm with positive economic profits will attract competition. When another competitor enters the market, the original firm’s perceived demand curve shifts to the left, from D 0 to D 1 , and the associated marginal revenue curve shifts from MR 0 to MR 1 . The new profit-maximizing output is Q 1 , because the intersection of the MR 1 and MC now occurs at point U. Moving vertically up from that quantity on the new demand curve, the optimal price is at P 1 .

As long as the firm    is earning positive economic profits, new competitors will continue to enter the market, reducing the original firm’s demand and marginal revenue curves. The long-run equilibrium    is shown in the figure at point Y, where the firm’s perceived demand curve touches the average cost curve. When price is equal to average cost, economic profits are zero. Thus, although a monopolistically competitive firm may earn positive economic profits in the short term, the process of new entry will drive down economic profits to zero in the long run. Remember that zero economic profit is not equivalent to zero accounting profit    . A zero economic profit means the firm’s accounting profit is equal to what its resources could earn in their next best use. [link] (b) shows the reverse situation, where a monopolistically competitive firm is originally losing money. The adjustment to long-run equilibrium is analogous to the previous example. The economic losses lead to firms exiting, which will result in increased demand for this particular firm, and consequently lower losses. Firms exit up to the point where there are no more losses in this market, for example when the demand curve touches the average cost curve, as in point Z.

Monopolistic competitors can make an economic profit or loss in the short run, but in the long run, entry and exit will drive these firms toward a zero economic profit outcome. However, the zero economic profit outcome in monopolistic competition looks different from the zero economic profit outcome in perfect competition in several ways relating both to efficiency and to variety in the market.

Monopolistic competition and efficiency

The long-term result of entry and exit in a perfectly competitive market is that all firms end up selling at the price level determined by the lowest point on the average cost curve. This outcome is why perfect competition displays productive efficiency    : goods are being produced at the lowest possible average cost. However, in monopolistic competition, the end result of entry and exit is that firms end up with a price that lies on the downward-sloping portion of the average cost curve, not at the very bottom of the AC curve. Thus, monopolistic competition will not be productively efficient.

In a perfectly competitive market, each firm produces at a quantity where price is set equal to marginal cost, both in the short run and in the long run. This outcome is why perfect competition displays allocative efficiency: the social benefits of additional production, as measured by the marginal benefit, which is the same as the price, equal the marginal costs to society of that production. In a monopolistically competitive market, the rule for maximizing profit is to set MR = MC—and price is higher than marginal revenue, not equal to it because the demand curve is downward sloping. When P>MC, which is the outcome in a monopolistically competitive market, the benefits to society of providing additional quantity, as measured by the price that people are willing to pay, exceed the marginal costs to society of producing those units. A monopolistically competitive firm does not produce more, which means that society loses the net benefit of those extra units. This is the same argument we made about monopoly, but in this case to a lesser degree. Thus, a monopolistically competitive industry will produce a lower quantity of a good and charge a higher price for it than would a perfectly competitive industry. See the following Clear It Up feature for more detail on the impact of demand shifts.

Questions & Answers

a mixed economic system
Ngong Reply
What are the types of price elasticity of demand
Juliana Reply
what are massures to promote geographical mobility of labor?
Is to make sure that a labourer to know more about his salary to earn before going to the direction
what is trade
Trade is a basic economic concept involving the buying and selling of goods and services, with compensation paid by a buyer to a seller, or the exchange of goods or services between parties. Trade can take place within an economy between producers and consumers.
what is fisical policy?
ha Reply
fisical policy or fiscal policy?
what are.the characteristics of economic goods
what are the importance of labour market?
how discrib the rural development and their four stages
Sheikh Reply
ye economics se related ha
1..traditional stage..no science and technology is applied hence poor productionuu.2..the take off stage..some development strategies are initiated eg transport system is improved but the traditional cultural belief still remain .3..the prematurely stage..technological methods of production are appl
applied leading to higher GDP..4..stage of mass consumption..
What is Easiest Formula For National Income?
Tenzin Reply
national income/ agrrigate net value
what do you mean by the supply of goods
sachin Reply
supply of good refer to the total unit of production which is ready to sell at a given price
what is implicit cost
fuseini Reply
any cost that has already occurred but not necessarily shown or reported as a separate expense.
The links don't seem to be working
Scorch Reply
what is taxonomy
wise Reply
how to interprets elasticity
Joseph Reply
what is demand curve
It is the graphical representation of quantity demand of a commodity?
it is the graphical representation of price and quantity demanded of a commodity
what is the difference between positive economics and normative economics.
pauline Reply
It said that positive economics studies the facts, but normative one focus on ought to be.
in another words normative economics focuses on what the fair situation is.
positive economics: wages are 10$ per hour. normative economics: wages should be 25$ per hour.
what is choice
Hamis Reply
what is indifference curve
Misba Reply
It is an alternative combination of consumption of two goods which gives equal level of satisfaction.
good morning guys.. I am Lawrence from Nigeria.. trust am welcome here..
Lawrence Reply
are you ecnomist?
I am a researcher
you all are ecnomost
ohh nice
re search on economy

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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