What Is Perfect Competition?

The concept of perfect competition describes a theoretical market structure. In a model of perfect competition, there are no monopolies1. This type of structure has several key characteristics, including:

  • All firms sell an identical product (a commodity or homogeneous).
  • All firms are price takers (they cannot influence the market price of their products).
  • Market shares do not affect prices.
  • Buyers have complete or perfect information (past, present and future) about the product sold and the prices charged by each company.
  • Capital resources and labour are fully mobile.
  • Businesses can enter and exit the market for free.

It Can be contrasted with the more realistic imperfect competition that exists whenever a hypothetical or actual market violates the abstract principles of neoclassical pure or perfect match.

Principle Results

  • Perfect competition is an ideal market structure where all producers and consumers have complete and symmetric information and no transaction costs.
  • In such an environment, many producers and consumers compete.
  • Perfect competition is theoretically the opposite of a monopolistic market.
  • Because all fundamental markets exist outside the plane of the perfectly competitive model, each can be classified as imperfect.

The opposite of perfect competition is when a market violates the abstract principles of neoclassical pure or ideal match.

How Perfect Competition Works

Perfect competition is a benchmark or ideal type against which actual market structures can be compared. In theory, perfect competition is the opposite of a monopoly, where only one firm offers a good or service. That firm can charge any price because consumers have no alternative, and it is difficult for potential competitors to enter the bazaar.

Several buyers and sellers in perfect competition, and prices reflect supply and demand. Companies make enough profit to stay in business and nothing more. If they made excessive profits, other companies would enter the market and drive down profits.

A Vast And Homogeneous Market

In a highly competitive market, there are many buyers and sellers. Sellers tend to be small businesses rather than large companies able to control prices through bid adjustments. As a result, they sell products with minimal differences in capabilities, features, and price. In addition, it ensures that buyers cannot differentiate products based on physical characteristics such as size or colour or intangible values ​​such as brand names.

Full Availability Of Information

Information about an industry’s ecosystem and competition is a crucial asset. For example, knowing how to find components and pricing from suppliers can make or break the market for some companies. In addition, in certain knowledge-intensive and research-intensive industries, such as pharmaceuticals and technology, competitor patent information and research initiatives can help companies develop competitive strategies and create a competitive advantage around their products. Products.

Lack Of Control

Governments play a crucial role in shaping product markets by imposing regulations and price controls. In addition, they can control the entry and exit of businesses in a market by establishing rules for operating in the market. For example, the pharmaceutical industry has to deal with several regulations related to drug development, manufacture, and sale.

Special Considerations

Actual competition deviates from this ideal mainly through production, marketing, and sales differentiation. For example, a small health food store owner may talk at length about the grain that feeds the cows that produce the manure used to fertilize non-GMO soybeans. It  is called differentiation.

The first two criteria (homogeneous products and price takers) are anything but realistic. For the second two criteria (information and mobility), however, the global evolution of technology and commerce improves the flexibility of information and resources.

Also Read: What Do Marketers Do? A Closer Look At The Job Description

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