To keep the analysis simple at this point, we will note that competition could be either [...]
perfect or imperfect.
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3. ANALYSIS OF REVENUE, COSTS, AND PROFITS zation requires that we examine both of those components. Revenue comes from the demand for the firm’s products, and cost comes from the acquisition and utilization of the firm’s inputs in the production of those products.
<span>3.1.1. Total, Average, and Marginal Revenue
This section briefly examines demand and revenue in preparation for addressing cost. Unless the firm is a pure monopolist (i.e., the only seller in its market), there is a difference between market demand and the demand facing an individual firm. A later reading will devote much more time to understanding the various competitive environments (perfect competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly), known as market structure . To keep the analysis simple at this point, we will note that competition could be either perfect or imperfect. In perfect competition , the individual firm has virtually no impact on market price, because it is assumed to be a very small seller among a very large number of firms selling essentially identical products. Such a firm is called a price taker . In the second case, the firm does have at least some control over the price at which it sells its product because it must lower its price to sell more units.
Exhibit 4 presents total, average, and marginal revenue data for a firm under the assumption that the firm is price taker at each relevant level of quantity of goods sold. Consequently, the individual seller faces a horizontal demand curve over relevant output ranges at the price level established by the market (see Exhibit 5). The seller can offer any quantity at this set market price without affecting price. In contrast, imperfect competition is where an individual firm has enough share of the market (or can control a certain segment of the market) and is therefore able to exert some influence over price. Instead of a large number of competing firms, imperfect competition involves a smaller number of firms in the market relative to perfect competition and in the extreme case only one firm (i.e., monopoly). Under any form of imperfect competition, the individual seller confronts a negatively sloped demand curve, where price and the quantity demanded by consumers are inversely related. In this case, price to the firm declines when a greater quantity is offered to the market; price to the firm increases when a lower quantity is offered to the market. This is shown in Exhibits 6 and 7.
Exhibit 4. Total, Average, and Marginal Revenue under Perfect Competition
(P) Total Revenue
(TR) Average Re
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