Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly

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1 Monopolistic Competition and Oligopoly CHAPTER13 C H A P T E R C H E C K L I S T When you have completed your study of this chapter, you will be able to 1 Explain how price and quantity are determined in monopolistic competition. 2 Explain why selling costs are high in monopolistic competition. 3 Explain the dilemma faced by firms in oligopoly. 4 Use game theory to explain how price and quantity are determined in oligopoly. 1

2 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Monopolistic competition is a market structure in which A large number of firms compete. Each firm produces a differentiated product. Firms compete on price, product quality, and marketing. Firms are free to enter and exit MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Large Number of Firms Like perfect competition, the market has a large number of firms. Three implications are Small market share No market dominance Collusion impossible 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Product Differentation Product differentiation is making a product that is slightly different from the products of competing firms. A differentiated product has close substitutes but it does not have perfect substitutes. When the price of one firm s product rises, the quantity demanded of that firm s product decreases. 2

3 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Competing on Quality, Price, and Marketing Quality Design, reliability, after-sales service, and buyer s ease of access to the product. Price Because of product differentiation, the demand curve for the firms product is downward sloping. Marketing Advertising and packaging 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Entry and Exit No barriers to entry. So the firm cannot make economic profit in the long run. Identifying Monopolistic Competition Two indexes: The four-firm concentration ratio The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION The Four-Firm Concentration Ratio The four-firm concentration ratio is the percentage of the value of sales accounted for by the four largest firms in the industry. The range of concentration ratio is from almost zero for perfect competition to 100 percent for monopoly. A ratio that exceeds 60 percent is an indication of oligopoly. A ratio of less than 40 percent is an indication of a competitive market monopolistic competition. 3

4 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) is the square of the percentage market share of each firm summed over the largest 50 firms in a market. Example, four firms with market shares as 50 percent, 25 percent, 15 percent, and 10 percent. HHI = = 3,450 A market with an HHI less than 1,000 is regarded as competitive and between 1,000 and 1,800 is moderately competitive MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Output and Price in Monopolistic Competition How, given its costs and the demand for its jeans, does Tommy Hilfiger decide the quantity of jeans to produce and the price at which to sell them? The Firm s Profit-Maximizing Decision The firm in monopolistic competition makes its output and price decision just like a monopoly firm does. Figure 13.1 on the next slide illustrates this decision MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION 1. Profit is maximized when MR = MC. 2. The profit-maximizing output is 125 pairs of Tommy jeans per day. 3. The profit-maximizing price is $75 per pair. ATC is $25 per pair, so 4. The firm makes an economic profit of $6,250 a day. 4

5 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Long Run: Zero Economic Profit Economic profit induces entry and economic loss induces exit, as in perfect competition. Entry decreases the demand for the product of each firm. Exit increases the demand for the product of each firm. In the long run, economic profit is competed away and firms earn normal profit. Figure 13.2 on the next slide illustrates long-run equilibrium MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION 1. The output that maximizes profit is 75 pairs of Tommy jeans a day. 2. The price is $50 per pair. Average total cost is also $50 per pair. 3. Economic profit is zero. 5

6 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Monopolistic Competition and Efficiency Efficiency requires that the marginal benefit of the consumer equal the marginal cost of the producer. Price measures marginal benefit, so efficiency requires price to equal marginal cost. In monopolistic competition, price exceeds marginal revenue and marginal revenue equals marginal cost, so price exceeds marginal cost a sign of inefficiency MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION But this inefficiency arises from product differentiation variety that consumers value and for which they are willing to pay. So the loss that arises because marginal benefit exceeds marginal cost must be weighed against the gain that arises from greater product variety. In a broader view of efficiency, monopolistic competition brings gains for consumers. But firms in monopolistic competition always have excess capacity in long-run equilibrium. 6

7 13.1 MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION Excess Capacity A firm has excess capacity if the quantity it produces is less that the quantity at which average total cost is a minimum. A firm s efficient scale is the quantity of production at which average total cost is a minimum. Figure 13.3 on the next slide illustrates excess capacity MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION 1. The efficient scale is 100 pairs of Tommy jeans a day. 2. The firm produces less than the efficient scale and has excess capacity. 3. Price exceeds 4. marginal cost. 5. Deadweight loss arise. 7

8 13.2 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING Innovation and Product Development Wherever economic profits are earned, imitators emerge. To maintain economic profit, a firm must seek out new products. Cost Versus Benefit of Product Innovation The firm must balance the cost and benefit at the margin PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING Efficiency and Product Innovation Regardless of whether a product improvement is real or imagined, its value to the consumer is its marginal benefit, which equals the amount the consumer is willing to pay. The marginal benefit to the producer is the marginal revenue, which in equilibrium equals marginal cost. Because price exceeds marginal cost, product improvement is not pushed to its efficient level PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING Advertising Firms in monopolistic competition spend a large amount on advertising and packaging their products. Advertising Expenditures A large proportion of the prices that we pay cover the cost of selling a good. Eye On the U.S. Economy shows some estimates of marketing expenditures for some familiar markets. 8

9 13.2 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING Selling Costs and Total Costs Advertising expenditures increase the costs of a monopolistically competitive firm above those of a perfectly competitive firm or a monopoly. Advertising costs are fixed costs. Advertising costs per unit decrease as production increases. Figure 13.4 on the next slide illustrates the effects of selling costs on total cost PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING 1. When advertising costs are added to 2. The average total cost of production, 3. Average total cost increases by a greater amount at small outputs than at large outputs PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING 4. If advertising enables sales to increase from 25 pairs of jeans a day to 100 pairs a day, and the average total cost falls from $60 a pair to $40 a pair. 9

10 13.2 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING Selling Costs and Demand Advertising and other selling efforts change the demand for a firm s product. The effects are complex: A firm s own advertising increases the demand for its product. Advertising by all firms might decrease the demand for any one firm s product PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING Efficiency: The Bottom Line The bottom line on the question of efficiency of monopolistic competition is ambiguous. In some cases, the gains from extra product variety offsets the selling costs and the extra cost arising from excess capacity. It is less easy to see the gains from being able to buy brand-name drugs that have a chemical composition identical to that of a generic alternative. But many people do willingly pay more for the brandname alternative. 10

11 13.3 OLIGOPOLY Another market type that stands between perfect competition and monopoly. Oligopoly is a market type in which: A small number of firms compete. Natural or legal barriers prevent the entry of new firms. Oligopoly is a market with a small number of firms, and each firm is large and can influence the market price OLIGOPOLY In monopoly, one firm controls the total quantity supplied and so it also controls the price. In perfect competition, no firm is big enough to influence the total quantity supplied, so no firm can influence the price. Oligopoly is unlike both of these cases. More than one firm controls the quantity supplied, so no one firm controls the price. But each firm is large, and the quantity produced by each firm influences the price OLIGOPOLY Collusion When a small number of firms share a market, they can increase their profit by forming a cartel and acting like a monopoly. A cartel is a group of firms acting together to limit output, raise price, and increase economic profit. Cartels are illegal but they do operate in some markets. But cartels usually breaks down as we will explain. A duopoly is a market in which there are only two producers. 11

12 13.3 OLIGOPOLY Duopoly in Airplanes Identifying oligopoly is the flip side of identifying monopolistic competition. The borderline between oligopoly and monopolistic competition is hard to pin down. As a practical matter, we try to identify oligopoly by looking at concentration measures. A market in which HHI exceeds 1,800 is generally regarded as an oligopoly OLIGOPOLY Oligopoly might operate like monopoly, like perfect competition, or somewhere between these two extremes. Monopoly Outcome The firm would operate as a single-price monopoly. Figure 13.6 on the next slide shows the monopoly outcome OLIGOPOLY 12

13 13.3 OLIGOPOLY Perfect Competition Equilibrium occurs where the marginal revenue curve intersects the demand curve. The quantity produced is 12 planes a week and the price would be $1 million a plane. Figure 13.5 shows the perfect competition outcome and the range of possible oligopoly outcomes OLIGOPOLY 13

14 13.3 OLIGOPOLY The Duopolists Dilemma To achieve the monopoly profit Airbus and Boeing might attempt to form a cartel. If the firms can agree to produce the monopoly output of 6 airplanes a week, joint profits will be $72 million. 14

15 13.3 OLIGOPOLY Would it be in the self-interest of Airbus and Boeing to stick to the agreement and limit production to 3 planes a week each? With price exceeding marginal cost, one firm can an increase its profit by increasing its output. If both firms increased output when price exceeds marginal cost, the end of the process would be the same as perfect competition OLIGOPOLY Boeing Increases Output to 4 Airplanes a Week Boeing can increase its economic profit by $4 million and cause the economic profit of Airbus to fall by $6 million. 15

16 13.3 OLIGOPOLY Airbus Increases Output to 4 Airplanes For Airbus, a this outcome Week is an improvement on the previous one by $2 million a week. For Boeing, the outcome is worse than the previous one by $8 million a week OLIGOPOLY Boeing Increases Output to 5 Airplanes a Week If Boeing increases output to 5 airplanes a week, its economic profit falls. Similarly, if Airbus increases output to 5 airplanes a week, its economic profit falls. 16

17 13.3 OLIGOPOLY The Oligopoly Cartel Dilemma If both firms stick to the monopoly output, they each produce 3 airplanes and make $36 million. If they both increase production to 4 airplanes a week, they make $32 million each. If only one firm increases production to 4 airplanes a week, that firm makes $40 million. What do they do? Game theory provides an answer GAME THEORY Game theory is the tool used to analyze strategic behavior behavior that recognizes mutual interdependence and takes account of the expected behavior of others. 17

18 13.4 GAME THEORY What Is a Game? All games involve three features: Rules Strategies Payoffs Prisoners dilemma is a game between two prisoners that shows why it is hard to cooperate, even when it would be beneficial to both players to do so GAME THEORY The Prisoners Dilemma Art and Bob been caught stealing a car: sentence is 2 years in jail. DA wants to convict them of a big bank robbery: sentence is 10 years in jail. DA has no evidence and to get the conviction, he makes the prisoners play a game GAME THEORY Rules Players cannot communicate with one another. If both confess to the larger crime, each will receive a sentence of 3 years for both crimes. If one confesses and the accomplice does not, the one who confesses will receive a 1-year sentence, while the accomplice receives a 10-year sentence. If neither confesses, both receive a 2-year sentence. 18

19 13.4 GAME THEORY Strategies The strategies of a game are all the possible outcomes of each player. The strategies in the prisoners dilemma are Confess to the bank robbery. Deny the bank robbery GAME THEORY Payoffs Four outcomes: Both confess. Both deny. Art confesses and Bob denies. Bob confesses and Art denies. A payoff matrix is a table that shows the payoffs for every possible action by each player given every possible action by the other player GAME THEORY Table 13.5 shows the prisoners dilemma payoff matrix for Art and Bob. 19

20 13.4 GAME THEORY Equilibrium Occurs when each player takes the best possible action given the action of the other player. Nash equilibrium is an equilibrium in which each player takes the best possible action given the action of the other player. The Nash equilibrium for Art and Bob is to confess. The equilibrium of the prisoners dilemma is not the best outcome for the players GAME THEORY The Duopolists Dilemma as a Game The dilemma of Boeing and Airbus is similar to that of Art and Bob. Each firm has two strategies. It can produce airplanes at the rate of: 3 a week 4 a week 20

21 13.4 GAME THEORY Because each firm has two strategies, there are four possible combinations of actions: Both firms produce 3 a week (monopoly outcome). Both firms produce 4 a week. Airbus produces 3 a week and Boeing produces 4 a week. Boeing produces 3 a week and Airbus produces 4 a week GAME THEORY The Payoff Matrix Table 13.6 shows the payoff matrix as the economic profits for each firm in each possible outcome. 21

22 13.4 GAME THEORY Equilibrium of the Duopolists Dilemma Both firms produce 4 a week. Like the prisoners, the duopolists fail to cooperate and get a worse outcome than the one that cooperation would deliver GAME THEORY Collusion Is Profitable but Difficult to Achieve The duopolists dilemma explains why it is difficult for firms to collude and achieve the maximum monopoly profit. Even if collusion were legal, it would be individually rational for each firm to cheat on a collusive agreement and increase output. In an international oil cartel, OPEC, countries frequently break the cartel agreement and overproduce. 22

23 13.4 GAME THEORY Advertising and Research Games in Oligopoly Advertising campaigns by Coke and Pepsi, and research and development (R&D) competition between Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark are like the prisoners dilemma game GAME THEORY Advertising Game Coke and Pepsi have two strategies: advertise or not advertise. Table 13.8 shows the payoff matrix as the economic profits for each firm in each possible outcome. 23

24 13.4 GAME THEORY The Nash equilibrium for this game is for both firms advertise. But they could earn a larger joint profit if they could collude and not advertise GAME THEORY Research and Development Game P&G and Kimberly- Clark have two strategies: spend on R&D or do no R&D. Table 13.9 shows the payoff matrix as the economic profits for each firm in each possible outcome. 24

25 13.4 GAME THEORY The Nash equilibrium for this game is for both firms to undertake R&D. But they could earn a larger joint profit if they could collude and not do R&D. 25

26 13.4 GAME THEORY Repeated Games Most real-world games get played repeatedly. Repeated games have a larger number of strategies because a player can be punished for not cooperating. This suggests that real-world duopolists might find a way of learning to cooperate so they can enjoy monopoly profit. The next slide shows the payoffs with a tit-for-tat response GAME THEORY Week 1: Suppose Boeing contemplates producing 4 planes instead of the agreed 3 planes. Boeing s profit will increase from $36 million to $40 million, and Airbus s profit will decrease from $36 million to $30 million GAME THEORY Week 2: Airbus punishes Boeing and produces 4 planes. But Boeing must go back to producing 3 planes to induce Airbus to cooperate in week 3. In week 2, Boeing s profit falls to $30 million and Airbus s profit increases to $40 million. 26

27 13.4 GAME THEORY Over the two-week period, Boeing s profit would have been $72 million if it cooperated, but it was only $70 million with Airbus s titfor-tat response GAME THEORY In reality, where a duopoly works like a one-play game or a repeated game depends on the number of players and the ease of detecting and punishing overproduction. The larger the number of players, the harder it is to maintain the monopoly outcome. 27

28 13.4 GAME THEORY Is Oligopoly Efficient? In oligopoly, price usually exceeds marginal cost. So the quantity produced is less than the efficient quantity. Oligopoly suffers from the same source and type of inefficiency as monopoly. Because oligopoly is inefficient, antitrust laws and regulations are used to try to reduce market power and move the outcome closer to that of competition and efficiency. 28

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