Comparison of perfect and imperfect competition

Economics I: Final Draft



  1. INTRODUCTION………………………………………………….4
  2. WHAT IS A Market? … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … .4
  3. PERFECT COMPETITION………………………………………5
  4. IMPERFECT COMPETITION……………………………………8
  8. Real WORLD SCENARIO……………………………………..13
  10. CONCLUSION……………………………………………………15
  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………16s


The Father of Economics Adam Smith in his book “ The Theory of Moral Sentiments” , wrote about the chief features of human existences. Harmonizing to him a human being is really selfish or possesses amour propre every bit good as there exists an unseeable manus.

The construct of self- love in human being is one of the most of import factor in “ the value theory” every bit good as in the development of market. [ 1 ]

By and large a human being carries out economic activities till a point where he thinks that what I am paying is equal to what I am having, Human being volitionally trade or transport out exchange boulder clay he feels that what I am giving is less and what I am having is more, one time he realises that what I am giving is equal to what I am having, he will halt farther trade.

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This is one of the most of import doctrine of consumers and manufacturers. Both the construct is based on selfish motivations of maximizing returns in footings of their attempts that is money. Since an economic system consists of assorted economic agents with diverse involvements, apportioning resources optimally becomes an intricate undertaking. Economic contrivers have two reciprocally opposing agencies to work out this allotment job: planning versus competition.

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Which avenue will be adopted by the contrivers depends crucially on their value judgements.

WHAT IS A Market?

“Originally” says Jevons, : a market was a public topographic point in a town where commissariats and other objects were exposed for sale ; but the universe has been generalised so as to intend any organic structure of individuals who are in confidant concern dealingss and carry on extended minutess in any trade good.

In the words of Cournot, a Gallic economic expert, “Economics understand by the term market non any peculiar market placec in which things are bought and sold but the whole of any part in which purchasers and Sellerss are in such free intercourse with one another that the monetary value of the same goods tends to equality easy and quickly.”

Therefore, the necessities of market are:

  1. A trade good which is dealt with.
  2. The being of purchasers and Sellerss
  3. A topographic point, be it certain part, state or full universe.
  4. Such intercourse between purchasers and Sellerss that merely one monetary value should predominate for the same trade good at the same clip.


Perfect competition is a theoretical market construction. Perfect competition is the universe of price-takers. A absolutely competitory house sells a homogeneous merchandise. It is so little relation to its market that it can non impact the market monetary value ; it merely takes the monetary value as spring.

Under perfect competition, there are many purchasers and Sellerss, and monetary values reflect supply and demand. Besides, consumers have many replacements if the good or service they wish to purchase becomes excessively expensive or its quality begins to fall abruptly. New houses can easy come in the market, bring forthing extra competition. Companies earn merely plenty net income to remain in concern and no more, because if they were to gain extra net incomes, other companies would come in the market and drive net incomes back down to the bare lower limit.

Real-world competition differs from the text edition theoretical account of perfect competition in many ways. Real companies try to do their merchandises different from those of their rivals. They advertise to seek to derive market portion. They cut monetary values to seek to take clients off from other houses. They raise monetary values in the hope of increasing net incomes. And some houses are big plenty to impact market monetary values. But the perfect competition theoretical account is non an ideal that we should seek to accomplish in the existent universe.

Features of Perfect Competition

  1. There are many little houses, each bring forthing an indistinguishable merchandise.
  2. Each excessively little to consequence the market monetary value.
  3. The perfect competitior faces a wholly horizontal demand curve.
  4. The excess gross gained from each excess unit sold is hence the market monetary value.
  5. Freedom of Entry and Exit ; this will necessitate low sunk costs. [ 2 ]

Diagram for Perfect Competition


These factors are unrealistic in the existent universe. However Perfect Competition is as of import economic theoretical account to compare other theoretical accounts. It is frequently argued that competitory markets have many benefits which stem from this theoretical theoretical account.

  • In the Industry monetary value is determined by the interaction of Supply and Demand.
  • The house will maximize end product where MR = MC at Q1
  • In the Long Run Firms will do Normal net incomes.

If Supernormal net incomes are made new houses will be attracted into the industry doing monetary values to fall. If houses are doing a loss so houses will go forth the industry doing monetary value to lift. [ 3 ]

Premises behind a Absolutely Competitive Market

1. Many providers each with an undistinguished portion of the market – this means that each house is excessively little comparative to the overall market to impact monetary value via a alteration in its ain supply – each single house is assumed to be a monetary value taker

2. An indistinguishable end product produced by each house – in other words, the market supplies homogenous or standardized merchandises that are perfect replacements for each other. Consumers perceive the merchandises to be indistinguishable

3. Consumers have perfect information about the monetary values all Sellerss in the market charge – so if some houses decide to bear down a monetary value higher than the governing market monetary value, there will be a big permutation consequence off from this house

4. All houses ( industry participants and new entrants ) are assumed to hold equal entree to resources ( engineering, other factor inputs ) and betterments in production engineerings achieved by one house can spill-over to all the other providers in the market. [ 4 ]


Imperfect competition is a competitory market state of affairs where there are many Sellerss, but they are selling heterogenous ( dissimilar ) goods as opposed to the perfect competitory market scenario. As the name suggests, competitory markets that are imperfect in nature.

Imperfect competition is the existent universe competition. Today some of the industries and Sellerss follow it to gain excess net incomes. In this market scenario, the marketer enjoys the luxury of act uponing the monetary value in order to gain more net incomes. It prevails in an industry whenever single Sellerss have some step of control over the monetary value of their end product. Take the illustration of Coco-cola and perpsi together have the majpr portion of the market, and imperfect competition clearly prevails.

If a marketer is selling a non-identical good in the market, so he can raise the monetary values and earn net incomes. High net incomes attract other Sellerss to come in the market and Sellerss, who are incurring losingss, can really easy go out the market. The major types of imperfect competition are: monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition.

Monopolistic Competition: This market construction is characterized by a big figure of comparatively little rivals, each with a modest grade of market controlon the supply side. A cardinal characteristic of monopolistic competition is merchandise distinction. The end product of each manufacturer is a stopping point but non indistinguishable replacement to that of every other house, which helps fulfill diverse consumer wants and demands.

Oligopoly:This market construction is characterized by a little figure of comparatively big rivals, each with significant market control. Oligopoly Sellerss exhibit mutualist determination doing which can take to intense competition among the few and the motive to collaborate through amalgamations and hits.

Monopoly:Monopolies are therefore characterized by a deficiency of economic competition to bring forth the good or service and a deficiency of viablesubstitute goods. Monopoly is an endeavor that is the lone marketer of a good or service. In the absence of authorities intercession, a monopoly is free to put any monetary value it chooses and will normally put the monetary value that yields the largest possible net income. Just being a monopoly need non do an endeavor more profitable than other endeavors that face competition, the market may be so little that it hardly supports one endeavor.

But if the monopoly is in fact more profitable than competitory endeavors, economic experts expect that other enterprisers will come in the concern to capture some of the higher returns. If adequate challengers enter, their competition will drive monetary values down and extinguish monopoly power.


A differentiation has been made between perfect and imperfect competition. “ A market is said to be perfect when all the possible Sellerss and purchasers are quickly cognizant of the monetary values at which minutess take topographic point and all the offers made by other Sellerss and purchasers, and when any purchaser can buy from any marketer. Same monetary value same trade good same times is indispensable feature of perfect market. [ 5 ]

On the other manus, a market is imperfect when some purchasers or Sellerss or both are non cognizant of the monetary values made by others. Different monetary values come to predominate for the same trade good at the same clip in an imperfect market.






Perfect Competition

Many merchandises ; indistinguishable merchandises.

Fiscal markets and agricultural merchandises


Market exchange or auction.

Imperfect Competition

Monopolistic Competition

Many manufacturers ; many existent differences in merchandises.

Retail trade like pizzas, beer.


Ad and quality competition administered monetary values.


Few manufacturers ; small or no difference in merchandise.

Steel, chemicals


Ad and quality competition administered monetary values.


Single manufacturer ; merchandise without close replacements.

Franchise monopolies like electricity, H2O, drugs




In economic sciences, fundamentallydemandis theutilityfor a good or service of an economic agent, comparative to his income.Demand is a purchaser ‘s willingness and ability to pay a monetary value for a specific measure of a good or service. refers to how much ( measure ) of a merchandise or service is desired by purchasers at assorted monetary values. The measure demanded is the sum of a merchandise people are willing to purchase at a certain monetary value ; the relationship between monetary value and measure demanded is known as the demand.

The term demand signifies the ability or the willingness to purchase a peculiar trade good at a given point of clip.

In the above diagram, PART A reflects that the perfect rival faces a horizontal demand curve, bespeaking that it can sell all it wants at the traveling market monetary value. The monetary value snap is absolutely elastic. When there is pure competition, since the figure of houses is big, no person has power to act upon the market monetary value. Besides, since the merchandises are indistinguishable from the consumer’s point of position, the monetary value paid by them can’t be different. OX and OY are two axes. Along OX is the end product and the OY is the price/revenue. At OP monetary value a marketer can sell every bit much as he likes. He can non bear down more and non bear down less because so he’ll lose all his clients.

Part B says that an imperfect competition, in contrast, faces a downward sloping demand curve. Meaning that if an imperfect competitory house increases its gross revenues, it will decidedly deject the market monetary value of its end product as it moves down its dd curve. The monetary value snap is finite elastic. [ 6 ]


Competitive house has direct deductions for the market supply curve and the jurisprudence of supply. The primary decision is that aabsolutely competitory house ‘s short-term supply curveis that section of its fringy cost curve that lies above the mean variable costcurve. absolutely competitory house produces the measure of end product that equates fringy gross, which is equal to monetary value, and fringy cost, every bit long as monetary value exceeds mean variable cost. The profit-maximising picks of end product at alternate monetary values generate the absolutely competitory house ‘s short-term supply curve.

See three cardinal points:

  1. A profit-maximising house produces the measure of end product that equates fringy gross and fringy cost ( MR = MC ) .
  2. A absolutely competitory house is characterized by the equality between monetary value and fringy gross ( P = MR ) .
  3. The jurisprudence of decreasing fringy returns gives the fringy cost swerve a positive incline.

Uniting all three points means that a profit-maximising absolutely competitory house produces the measure of end product that equates monetary value and fringy cost ( P = MC ) .

  • An addition in the monetary value, moves the profit-maximising measure to a higher point on the positively-sloped fringy cost curve, and a larger production measure.
  • A lessening in the monetary value, moves the profit-maximising measure to a lower point on the positively-sloped fringy cost curve, and a smaller production measure. WORLD Scenario

In the station independency epoch, India adopted extremely restrictive industrial policy. India’s industrial licensing policy created entry barriers for private endeavors in sectors earmarked for them and therefore didn’t promote ‘perfect competition’ . Indian contrivers who believed in the philosophy of ‘infant industry argument’ provided necessary protection to domestic industries from foreign competition by manner of duty barriers.

During this regulated government, nevertheless, India’s industrial growing rate was non assuring. In India, under Structural Adjustment Programme ( SAP ) , industrial licensing policy was abolished and duty and measure limitations on imports were besides dispensed with. Thus the New Economic Policy made an attempt to advance a competitory market system in India. As a consequence India’s industrial sector started demoing some marks of betterment in footings of growing. [ 7 ]

In the existent universe, state of affairss like perfect market exists for markets for most of unbranded staple goods such as nutrient grain and veggies. However it should be noted that there is a tendency of branding more and more of such goods besides, and in this ways doing their markets go more and more similar oligopolistic markets.

In a monopoly like in Saudi Arabia the authorities has sole control over the oil industry. A monopoly may besides organize when a company has a right of first publication or patent that prevents others from come ining the market. Pfizer, for case, had a patent on Viagra. In an oligopoly, assume, for illustration, that an economic system needs merely 100 doodads. Company X produces 50 doodads and its rival, Company Y, produces the other 50. The monetary values of the two trade names will be mutualist and, hence, similar. So, if Company X starts selling the doodads at a lower monetary value, it will acquire a greater market portion, thereby coercing Company Y to take down its monetary values every bit good. There are two utmost signifiers of market construction: monopoly and, its opposite, perfect competition. Perfect competition is characterized by many purchasers and Sellerss, many merchandises that are similar in nature and, as a consequence, many replacements. Perfect competition means there are few, if any, barriers to entry for new companies, and monetary values are determined by supply and demand. Thus, manufacturers in a absolutely competitory market are capable to the monetary values determined by the market and do non hold any purchase. For illustration, in a absolutely competitory market, should a individual house decide to increase its selling monetary value of a good, the consumers can merely turn to the nearest rival for a better monetary value, doing any house that increases its monetary values to lose market portion and net incomes.


The usage of the premise of perfect competition as the foundation ofprice theoryfor merchandise markets is frequently criticized as stand foring all agents as inactive, therefore taking the active efforts to increase one ‘s public assistance or net incomes by monetary value undercutting, merchandise design, advertisement, invention, activities that – the critics argue – characterize most industries and markets. These unfavorable judgments point to the frequent deficiency of pragmatism of the premises ofproduct homogenity and impossibleness to distinguish it, but apart from this the accusal of passiveness appears correct merely for short-period or very-short-period analyses, in long-period analyses the inability of monetary value to diverge from the natural or long-period monetary value is due to active reactions of entry or issue.

Some economic experts have a different sort of unfavorable judgment refering perfect competition theoretical account. They are non knocking theprice taker premise because it makes economic agents excessively “ inactive ” , but because it so raises the inquiry of who sets the monetary values. Indeed, if everyone is monetary value taker, there is the demand for a benevolent contriver who gives and sets the monetary values, in other word, there is a demand for a “ monetary value shaper ” . Therefore, it makes the perfect competition theoretical account appropriate non to depict a decentralize “ market ” economic system but a centralised 1. This in bend agencies that such sort of theoretical account has more to make with communism than capitalist economy.

Another frequent unfavorable judgment is that it is frequently non true that in the short tally differences between supply and demand cause alterations in monetary value ; particularly in fabrication, the more common behavior is change of production without about any change of monetary value.


In this industrial and competitory universe non everyone has a opportunity to stand out. Sometimes there is boom period in the economic system when the firm’s income flourishes while at other times there can be a depression which will make losingss for the house. It is therefore a firm’s ability to pull off its resources carefully and practicably.

Why do consumers pass their income on new trade names? A classical mention may be in order: “The love of freshness manifests itself every bit in those who are good off and in those who are non. For. . . work forces get tired of prosperity, merely as they are afflicted by the contrary. . . . This love of alteration. . . opens the manner to everyone who takes the lead in any invention in any country.”

Therefore, in an economic system there will be different types of market and each market will hold its ain pros and cons it merely depends on the assorted inventions they undertake to pull more consumers. Both perfect and imperfect competitions excel in their Fieldss.



  1. Nordhaus, Samuelson. ( 2008 ) Economics. Tata Mc-Graw-Hill Publishing Company Limited.
  2. Dewett, K.K. , Nevalur, M.H. , Modern Economic Theory, S. Chand, New Delhi, 2010.

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Comparison of perfect and imperfect competition. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

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