Is an oligopolistic market framework a good example of market inability?


One constructive procedure of categorizing a market is by dividing it in conditions of the number of organizations on the source side of the market and the clients' focus on the demand aspect. Oligopoly symbolizes one of the market structure where there are always a very few organizations on the source side and an enormous concentration of customers on the demand aspect. As the purchasers cannot affect the marketplace conditions, they are going to adopt it therefore and the provider will be active in anticipating the rival action.

Oligopoly looms large in market sectors of metallic, petroleum, automobiles etc. Many establishments can operate geographically as oligopolies. For instance banking in a tiny town operate as oligopoly since you will see a couple of banks in the region and the residents will be forced to take his business to the local banking companies. ( Friedman, 1983)

Oligopoly a intricate market structure

Oligopoly is nearly a big business. Under this market framework, the rivalry assumes its worst form. Product innovations, ambitious advertising and impressive marketing tactics are frequently put on outweigh each other. Oligopolistic market buildings are the hardest to analyze because they are highly interdependent and interwoven, where moves and countermoves are considered rapidly. For instance a straightforward action by Ford may lead to a effect by Basic Motors, which cause a readjustment in Ford's plan, in that way modifying GM's response and so on. So anything can happen anytime in oligopoly.

There are few models that high light oligopolistic behavior. They are simply


A case arises in monopoly when all the organizations try to promote interdependence and they all mutually consent to established price and result. The companies through their mutual coordination make an effort to create a huge monopoly. OPEC (Business of Petroleum Exporting Countries), can be an example of a cartel system.

Price authority and Tacit Collusion

It can be an arrangement where a couple of firms make an design for the costs for the complete firm. Other organizations are forced to check out the same price design although no such agreement exists on the market.

For example: In the newborn formulation industry, Abbot laboratories, Bristol Myers Squibb and American Home Products deliberately establish their prices nearer to the other person to dominate the industry.

The Kinked Demand Curve

This model elaborates the stickiness in charges within an oligopolistic structure. It's been hypothesized in this model that if for example, a company X lowers its price within an oligopolistic market, the rival will be forced to lower its price to in order to avoid the loss of its market platform. The demand curve dd is thus the relevant curve in case of a price lowering.

dHowever, if the company X applies to a cost increase, then the case will not be the same. The competitors won't imitate this time, and would continue to enjoy the customer support as they might flee the firm X products. In this case the demand curve would be DD. The company then tries to remain in a segment of the stretchy demand curve between dd and DD. The true demand curve is represented by Father, known as the kinked demand curve which silently highlights the fact "heads you lose, tails you lose" (Baumol and Blinder, 2009)





(Competition prices are fixed)




(Competitors respond to price changes)


Quantity per year

1, 400

1, 100

1, 000

Game theory and the Oligopoly

Game theory has been designed to comprehend the patterns of the organizations in an oligopolistic market composition that do not work on a collaborated productivity and costing. The underlying assumption is that the large bossy firms are like players in a casino game of poker. They make the techniques of lowering or increasing the purchase price, to advertise or never to advertise, to discount and so on, based on their rivals' move. Understanding the payoffs can put a firm in a much better position to contend with its rival and become in a income maximizing and rational position.

For example the game between two coffee shops is illustrated as below

C:\Documents and Adjustments\Anum\Desktop\4th assignment\Understanding Oligopoly Habit - a casino game Theory analysis Economics in Simple British_files\game-theory-1. jpeg

Source: Welker, J. (2009). Understanding oligopoly behavior-A game theory analysis. Available from: http://welkerswikinomics. com/blog/2009/12/15/understanding-oligopoly-behavior-a-game-theory-overview//

According to the above figure, both SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA caffeine and Starbucks is following a prominent strategy. They are working up to increase their final result through advertising, overlooking what their competitor does. If S. F advertises, Starbucks earns earnings ($12 vs. $10) through advertising. This means the "pay offs" are the same. Since both companies are enjoying earnings through advertising they will do so, though the total income are less in the event when both are advertising, when compared with when they aren't advertising. But such a problem will be a condition of instability, concerning advertise may very well be good for both. So we say that advertise/advertise is Nash equilibrium, as at this stage none of them of the company will change its strategy since it is delivering motivation to both (Jason Welker, 2009).

Market failure scheduled to Oligopoly

Keeping because the above theories that will try to explain oligopolistic behavior, the market failure credited to oligopoly can be related to a various triggers. Inefficiency, instability and indeterminacy as a result of oligopoly may bring about market crash. The firm's supremacy is made as the capacity is established increasingly more, but little is stated in order to create unnatural barrier to entry. The competitors contend on the basis of non pricing factors such as heavy advertising, gives more endure to the artificial barrier to admittance. Prices are well above cost and price discrimination prevails. Some of the firms also engage in self-regulation to protect their own income and market talk about that further detoriate the situation (Grewal and Kumnick, 2006). Oligopolistic businesses end result and prices greatly differ from what's socially accepted from them. It is also thought that the deceptive advertisement by the top firms also misleads the consumers and compels them to buy products that they don't want. They impose politics and economic ability and hover over the mind of the consumers working like an invisible hand.

Market Form

Number of firms in the market

Frequency in Reality

Entry Barriers

Public Interest Results

Long Run Profit

Equilibrium Conditions



Produces Large share of GDP





Source: Economics: Rules and Insurance plan By William J. Baumol, Alan S. Blinder

MC=MR applies for a revenue maximizing company, under equilibrium. However, in oligopoly, MC is usually unequal than MR mainly because in oligopoly the firms are seeking to look at strategies relative to the game theory, or they look for techniques such as increasing sales for income maximization as their ultimate goal.


In a perfectively competitive market place the tendencies of the firms automatically lead to a maximization of consumer benefits via an productive allocation of resources. In oligopoly however, source allocation is usually is not well place, more targeted is paid on restricting result so that they can maneuver prices and income. In an oligopoly everything can be done, can occur anytime anywhere, therefore the economists are still unable to plainly predict its tendencies. Besides, its potential to lead the marketplace down, some economists are of the belief that oligopoly has made a substantial contribution towards the economic growth in the past two decades leading to an increase in the average income of the abundant countries. (Baumol and Blinder, 2009).

Question two

What are the implications for management of businesses in such structures?


Oligopoly is market characterized by few firms. Managers of a firm in that structure know that their company enjoys a market power. However the other players also have their talk about of vitality too. If the managers take the right plan of action, properly examining the behavior with their rivals in the industry, they are likely to make money.

Strategic behavior

Strategic behavior identifies the firm's ability of proper factor of these market ability and knowing of their rival's move. Proper action occurs in oligopolistic buildings where there is less product differentiation and a competitive industry is out there (Taylor and Weerapana, 2009)

Implication for the managers

The most significant implication for the professionals regarding oligopoly is the charges practice based on mutual interdependence. In case of monopoly, the lack of competition allows the managers to check out the MR=MC role to maximize its earnings. Simply following MR=MC is not only enough.


Consider, for example the case of proctor and gamble, where the manager hires a expert for the in depth analysis of the cost, structure and demand. After a detailed research of the structure of your body cleaning soap products, the supervisor comes after the MC=MR guideline and arranged the retail price at $1. 99. In an abrupt move, the competitors Colgate-Palmolive, Lever brothers etc arranged the price of the comparable product 10 to 15 below compared to that of proctor and gamble. The particular manager will probably do? Either he can go to promote and heavy promotion to compete keenly against the lower prices of the opponents or can lower its prices down. Or he is able to simple do nothing if he's self-confident enough of the strong loyalty that his brand loves among consumers. The main point is that, that charges in oligopolistic composition can't be done without taking into account your competitor. This is the essence of mutual interdependence (Young and McAuley, 1994)

The second implication for the professionals is to understand that it can be extremely difficult to generate income in a competitive market. Companies must be just as much cost efficient as you can because they can not control the costs.

The professionals are supposed to be vigilant enough to be able to position opportunities and get into the market before the others could enter in. They should be able to make their place prior to the demand gets high enough to aid an above normal price.

A situation could come up in oligopoly, where in fact the managers in a firm become so successful in beating up the competition that the organization becomes a monopoly, or the the one which can exercise monopolistic power. Such an instance happened with IBM when In 1969, the organization dominated the computer market so much so, that the division of Justice had to concern an antitrust suit against it (Keat, Young and Benerjee, 2009)

Global implication for managers

The professionals should keep in mind that the procedure of benchmarking within an oligopolistic composition strategy formulation should be achieved keeping in view both home as well as the global rivals.

For example AT & T marketing communications not only had taken into account Northern telecom but also Siemens, Ericsson and NEC and Fujitsu.

Many of the organizations that won't take challenge from the overseas firms will probably face results. Like many American firms got a serious blow using their company Japanese competitors in the past 20 years. Companies like IBM and Caterpillar loves success because they set up a strong keep in the Japanese market prior to time.

The oligopolistic framework also highlighted the importance of alliance for the professionals. Alliances allow the firm to acquire technology from the rival organization. Whilst the acquisition of the technology can be considered a source of gain for the company, the firm giving up the technology can face causalities ( Yoffie, 1993)


The managers associated with an oligopolistic market framework have to take into consideration several aspects in their decision making. The professionals are plunged into complicated costing decision. They consider the three C's of Cost, customers and competition in their decision making. Price wars were common within an oligopolistic market, nevertheless they are becoming less regular with the passage of time, mainly due to the realization of the managers. Managers have comprehended, through their bitter experiences, that the price wars are costly and don't bring any benefits. They chose to remain competitive on the advertising and on product variations. So they have chosen not to remain competitive on prices and also have found for themselves a avenue of mutual benefit.

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