Economics » Perfect Competition » Perfect Competition and Why It Matters

Key Concepts and Summary

Key Concepts and Summary

A perfectly competitive firm is a price taker, which means that it must accept the equilibrium price at which it sells goods. If a perfectly competitive firm attempts to charge even a tiny amount more than the market price, it will be unable to make any sales. In a perfectly competitive market there are thousands of sellers, easy entry, and identical products. A short-run production period is when firms are producing with some fixed inputs. Long-run equilibrium in a perfectly competitive industry occurs after all firms have entered and exited the industry and seller profits are driven to zero.

Perfect competition means that there are many sellers, there is easy entry and exiting of firms, products are identical from one seller to another, and sellers are price takers.

Glossary

market structure

the conditions in an industry, such as number of sellers, how easy or difficult it is for a new firm to enter, and the type of products that are sold

perfect competition

each firm faces many competitors that sell identical products

price taker

a firm in a perfectly competitive market that must take the prevailing market price as given

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