In a physical sense, a market means a fixed place where people meet to buy and sell goods; that is, a market place.
In economics, a market can be defined as any arrangement, system or organization whereby buyers and sellers of goods are services are brought into contact with one another for the purpose of transacting business or for the purpose of buying and selling.
TYPES OF MARKET
- Market based on types of commodities
- Consumer goods market: It is made up of buyer and sellers of consumer goods
- Labour market: It is made up of workers and employers and deals with the recruitment of unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and professional workers.
- Capital Market and Money Market: The capital market is a financial market which deals in long-term loans. The money market deals in short-term loans.
- Stock-Exchange Market: It consists of buyers and sellers of second-hand securities.
- Foreign Exchange Market: This is a market that deals with foreign exchange transaction.
Market Based on the Channel of Distribution
- Wholesale market
- Retail market
Types of market according to Price
- Perfect market
- Imperfect market
A perfect market is a market structure in which prices are determined by the forces of demand and supply.
CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR A PERFECT MARKET
- Homogeneous commodity and existence of close substitutes: The commodities bought and sold must be homogeneous; that is identical. They must be of the same size, shape, colour, etc.
- Large buyer and sellers: There is a large number of buyers and sellers, each of whom has no control over the prevailing prices
- Free entry and exit: In this type of market, there is no barrier to entry and exit from the industry. There is no form of restriction.
- No preferential treatment: All buyers must be treated equally.
- Perfect knowledge: There must be a perfect information or knowledge about the price of the good or services.
- Uniformity of prices: Each perfect competitor is a price taker
- In a perfect market there are no transport costs.
- Portable goods: The goods to be sold must be easy to carry from the place to place
- Easy transfer of factors of production
- At equilibrium price the marginal cost (MC) equal marginal revenue (MR).
PRICE AND QUALITY DETERMINATION UNDER PERFECT COMPETITION
Price and quality are determined by the interaction of the forces of supply and demand. All the firms in the market are PRICE TAKERS.
SHORT-RUN AND LONG RUN POSITIONS OF A PERFECT COMPETITOR
EQUILIBIRIUM IN THE SHORT-RUN
The short run is the period in which a firm can vary its output by changing the variable factors of production. In the short-run, a firm can make abnormal profit. Since the market determines the prices at which goods should be sold, a firm can choose the quantity that will maximize its profits.
Equilibrium occurs when the following conditions are satisfied,
- Marginal cost is equal to marginal revenue (MC=MR)
- Marginal cost should cut the marginal revenue from below at the point of equality.
In the figure below, at point b price is greater than marginal cost; therefore it is better to increase output. The firm is at equilibrium at point S where MC=MR=P=AR. At this point, the firm is making abnormal profit. This is represented by rectangle PORS.
EQUILIBRUM IN THE LONG- RUN
The long run is a period in which all cost varies with the level of output. During the period, firms can adjust their scale of operation. In order to enjoy the abnormal profit, new firm are likely to enter the market with the entrance of new firms, supply will increase and price may fall if demand remains constant, therefore both the new and old firms will adjust their output to the new price. In the long run, the firms will make normal profit because all the firms will just be covering average cost. Equilibrium will be reached when marginal cost equal to marginal revenue and price (MC=MR=AC=AR=P=D+).
The firm produces Oqi and sell at OP. The producer will be making normal profit because the average cost is tangential to average revenue.
LOSS OF A COMPETITIVE FIRM
A perfect firm will be making loss if the price is below the average cost.
In the figure above, at price P, the firm suffers losses since price is below the average cost. Loss is therefore represented by apbc. If the firm cannot cover its average cost it may close down. This may be the point of exit from the market.
- In what two ways do consumers benefit from perfect competition?
- Outline any two differences between monopoly and perfect competition.
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