What are alternative market structures in economics?

Market structures

Market definition has a very broad scope in economics. Not all markets are therefore the same or similar, understandably. The structures of the markets can be characterized based on the level of competition and their nature. Let us explore the four fundamental types of market structures.

The economy will be characterized by a range of market structures. In essence, such market structures refer to the level of market competition. Such business layout determinants include the size of the commodities and items, the number of dealers, the number of customers, the size of the product or service, volume savings etc.

A market's main characteristics

- A market does not mean a specific location, but the entire region in economics where sellers and buyers ate. The market for a product has become very large in modem modes for communication and transport.

- In business, a market is not connected to a specific product, but rather to a specific location. Therefore, different commodities have separate markets. For instance, clothing, grain, jewellery markets are separate.

- For the selling and purchasing in the business, the participation of buyers and sellers is important. In the age of modems buyers and sellers do not need to be present on the street since they can exchange products by documents, telephones, members of the company, the Internet, and so on.

- Reasonable competition between buyers and sellers on the market can take place. The commodity costs are equal on the market since consumers and sellers trade openly.

The alternative market structures

One point to note is that there are not just those business systems. Any of them are only principles of philosophy. Yet they allow one to consider the concepts behind business structure classification.

1. Perfect competition

Perfect competition defines a business system, which competes with each other among vast numbers of small businesses. There is no major market control for a particular organisation in this case. This contributes to the economically desirable amount of production for the business as a whole, since no one of the businesses will control stock rates.

The theory of optimal competitiveness is based on different assumptions:

(1) All businesses optimize income

(2) Free business entrance and business departure,

(3) All firms offer completely similar goods, i.e. homogeneous goods

(4) Customers are not favored.

By testing these hypotheses, it becomes clear that in fact we can rarely encounter flawless rivalry. This is a crucial argument, since it is the only market system which can (theoretically) contribute to a socially optimized production level.

The equity market is perhaps the strongest example of a marketplace with an almost flawless rivalry. You can also search our article on ideal competition vs. imperfect competition if you want more details about perfect competition.

2. Unequal competition

Unequal competition often applies to a system of the industry in which a vast number of small competitors participate. Unlike in complete rivalry, though, businesses in unequal competition offer identical yet somewhat distinct goods. That gives them certain market control that enables them to charge higher rates in a certain range.

Monopoly rivalry is focused on the following assumptions:

(1) Both businesses increase the income

(2) They are able to join the business

(3) Businesses may offer superior goods

(4) Customers which choose one product to another.

Those perceptions are now a little closer to fact than those we witnessed in full rivalry. However, this business system no longer corresponds to an optimum collective standard of efficiency, since businesses have more leverage and may to a certain extent manipulate commodity rates.

The demand for cereals is an indication of price rivalry. Some possibly taste somewhat different, but they're both cereals at the end of the day.

3. Oligopoly

A business environment regulated by just a few corporations is represented in an oligopoly. This contributes to a small degree of rivalry. The companies can either collaborate or work together. This helps them to leverage their combined consumer influence to increase rates to make more gains.

The market framework of the oligopoly is based on the following assumptions:

(1) All companies optimize profit;

(2) Pricing of oligopolies;

(3) Entrance and exit obstacles exist in the industry;

(4) Homogeneous or distinct goods

(5) The sector is regulated only by few firms. Sadly, what a "few corporations" specifically entails is not well described.

As a general concept, we suggest that an oligopoly is normally made up of 3-5 majority corporations.

Let’s look at the game console industry to provide an indication of an oligopoly. Three strong firms control this market: Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. This leaves them both with tremendous market strength.

4. Monopolies

A monopoly implies a corporate system under which the whole industry is dominated by a single business. In this case, the business has the greatest market leverage and there are no options for customers. This also contributes to monopolies limiting production, growing costs and making profit.

When we speak of monopolies, the following conclusions are made:

(1) The monopolist maximizes benefit,

(2) The price may be fixed,

(3) Strong hurdles to entry and exit,

(4) Only one business controls the whole industry.

Many monopolies are not attractive from a society’s standpoint, since they result in lower yields and higher costs compared with open markets. Therefore, the government is also controlled. Monsanto may serve as an indicator of a true monopoly. The business marks about 80% of all maize extracted in the United States that offer it strong market position. In our Monopoly Control Article you can find some detail about monopolies.


Four simple market mechanisms are available: optimal competition, unequal competition, oligopoly and monopoly. Perfect rivalry is the composition of the industry in which a vast number of small competitors compete with homogenous goods against each other. In contrast, monopoly activity applies to a system of the economy in which a vast number of small businesses compete for related goods. An oligopoly defines a corporate system in which a limited number of businesses exist. Last but not leastMarket structures, the monopoly is a corporate system that is dominated by a single entity in the corporate.





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Nov 13, 2020


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