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Microeconomics: Competition in the Marketplace

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Learn all about competition in the marketplace, what the costs and benefits of competition, and why monopolies exist.




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A competitive marketplace is what provides us with the wide variety of goods we see today – from an array of budget breakfast cereals to look-alike designer clothes. A company’s desire to maximize profit and consumer’s quest for the best deal fuel an ever changing and improving marketplace.

In this course, Microeconomics: Competition in the Marketplace, first you will learn about externalities. Learn about costs, benefits, and Pigouvian taxes. When are command and control solutions appropriate? Furthermore, learn about the Coase Theorem, which states that competing firms in a disagreement should not be concerned with property rights and a winner-takes-all approach, but rather can come to a mutually beneficial solution.

Then, learn about how to maximize profits in a competitive environment. Explore when the best and worst times to enter or exit the market is, and the costs associated with these decisions. Learn about the Invisible Hand of the marketplace, which uses the market price to balance production across firms.

Lastly, learn about monopolies. Learn how a patent allows or a temporary monopoly, and why patents can be particularly important in industries such as pharmaceuticals.

This course will be ideal for students studying economics, as a resource for teachers, or for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of how the economy works.

PREREQUISITE:     Microeconomics: Supply, Demand, and Equilibrium;

                            Microeconomics: Price and Trade.

This course is the third in a series of four courses on Microeconomics.

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After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define private, external, social costs and Pigouvian taxes.
  • Discuss externalities, both costs and benefits.
  • Explain social surplus, fixed costs, variable costs, marginal costs, zero costs, and sunk costs.
  • Compare increasing, decreasing, and constant cost industries.
  • Discuss when it is best to enter or exit an industry.
  • Explain the properties of the invisible hand.
  • Discuss creative destruction.
  • Define the elimination principle.
  • Discuss how monopolies create markups.

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