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In economics, market structure (also known as the number of firms producing identical products.)
The imperfectly competitive structure is quite identical to the realistic market conditions where some monopolistic competitors, monopolists, oligopolists, and duopolists exist and dominate the market conditions. The elements of Market Structure include the number and size distribution of firms, entry conditions, and the extent of differentiation.
These somewhat abstract concerns tend to determine some but not all details of a specific concrete market system where buyers and sellers actually meet and commit to trade. Competition is useful because it reveals actual customer demand and induces the seller (operator) to provide service quality levels and price levels that buyers (customers) want, typically subject to the seller’s financial need to cover its costs. In other words, competition can align the seller’s interests with the buyer’s interests and can cause the seller to reveal his true costs and other private information. In the absence of perfect competition, three basic approaches can be adopted to deal with problems related to the control of market power and an asymmetry between the government and the operator with respect to objectives and information: (a) subjecting the operator to competitive pressures, (b) gathering information on the operator and the market, and (c) applying incentive regulation.
|Market Structure||Seller Entry Barriers||Seller Number||Buyer Entry Barriers||Buyer Number|
The correct sequence of the market structure from most to least competitive is perfect competition, imperfect competition,oligopoly, and pure monopoly.
The main criteria by which one can distinguish between different market structures are: the number and size of producers and consumers in the market, the type of goods and services being traded, and the degree to which information can flow freely.
The market form can equally be known to an extent by the barriers on entry and exit. It is to be noted that the Perfectly Competitive market, there exists free entry and exit; this applies to prospective/existing buyers and sellers. Though, this is not the case with the Imperfect market structure.