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Assignment: Evaluating Firm Behavior and Industry Performance With Imperfect Competition

 The components of each of the three market structures (monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and monopoly) are instrumental in determining and limiting the strategies that individual firms can successfully implement. For example, an industry that is a natural monopoly will not have to make as many decisions about pricing strategy as an industry that is a monopolistic competition. Or, if a firm is in an oligopolistic market, those decisions will have to be weighed more heavily against their competitors’ prices and features in order to remain competitive.

With only a few exceptions, all industries are characterized by some form of imperfect competition that prevents their long-run equilibrium from exhibiting totally efficient resource use and allocation. Among the reasons for imperfect competition are product differentiation (e.g., differences among brands of the same product), barriers to entry (e.g., economies of scale or patents), market power (e.g., firms face downward sloping demand curves), and a lack of perfect information (e.g., buyers are not aware of the prices charged by all sellers).

 Company A Lowers Price 

 Company B Lowers Price 

 Company B’s Payoff: $100
Company A’s Payoff: $100 

 Company B Does Not Lower Price 

 Company B’s Payoff: -$100
Company A’s Payoff: $1,000 


 Company A Does Not Lower Price 

Company B Lowers Price 

 Company B’s Payoff: $1000
Company A’s Payoff: -$100 

Company B Does Not Lower Price 

 Company B’s Payoff: $500
Company A’s Payoff: $500 

  • Describe at least two benefits to companies implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) and shared value strategies. Include at least two examples of companies that have adopted CSR or shared value, and discuss how they benefited from them. Your response should be at least 150–225 words (2–3 paragraphs) in length.

Note: For each prompt, be sure to reference at least one scholarly source to support your answer. Use the Walden Undergraduate Paper Template, provided in this week’s Learning Resources, to complete this Assignment.

In this Assignment, you will explain the relationship between market characteristics of imperfect competition, firm behavior and strategy, and the performance of the industries in which they operate. You will define also corporate social responsibility and explain the benefits from creating shared value.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Review the Week 1 Optional Resources on graphing, if needed.
  • Refer to the Academic Writing Expectations for 1000-Level Courses as you compose your Assignment.

By Day 7

Submit your responses to the following prompts.

  • What distinguishes a natural monopoly from other monopolies? What are the pros and cons of regulating natural monopolies? Does your answer differ depending on the specific product or industry being regulated? Your response should be at least 75–150 words (1–2 paragraphs) in length.
  • Assume Acme Corporation is a typical monopoly:
    • Construct a graph illustrating Acme’s average and marginal cost curves and the demand curve facing it. Identify profit maximizing output and price, total revenues, total costs, and total profits.
    • Assume the economy moves into a recession and the demand for Acme’s product falls. On the same graph, show the effect of the recession on equilibrium price, output, and profits.
    • Your response should be one graph and at least 75 words (1 paragraph) that includes an explanation for the graph.
  • Consider a local public utility, such as the water utility or scavenger company, that is regulated. Provide a diagram or graph illustrating the typical price and output set by regulators. Then respond to the following questions:
    • What might happen if the company was not regulated?
    • To what extent does regulation lead to equilibrium price and output levels that are consistent with production and allocation efficiencies?
    • Do you think the local community would be better served if the industry was no longer regulated and entry was available to any other company wanting to serve the community?
    • Your response should be at least 150–225 words (2–3 paragraphs) in length, including graph with an explanation.
  • What are the key differentiating characteristics of a market characterized by oligopoly versus monopolistic competition? Provide one specific example of each type of industry and defend your assignment of the industry to monopolistic competition or oligopoly. Your response should be at least 75–150 words (1–2 paragraphs).
  • What makes the monopolistic competition model different from the monopoly model? Explain how the differences affect short- and long-run equilibrium. Your response should be at least 75 words (1 paragraph).
  • Use the following Payoff Matrix for Company A and Company B, the only two companies that produce widgets, to answer the following questions. Your response should be at least 150–225 words (2–3 paragraphs) in length.
    • What is the expected outcome of this one-time (not repeated) game? Defend your answer.
    • How might your answer change if the game is repeated indefinitely?
    • To what extent does this example illustrate why firms in some concentrated oligopolies exhibit cooperative or collusive behavior even though they don’t explicitly collude?
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