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Home Price and Output Determination Under Perfect Competition Perfect Competition


Perfect Competition:




The concept of perfect competition was first introduced by Adam Smith in his book "Wealth of Nations". Later on, it was improved by Edgeworth. However, it received its complete formation in Frank Kight's book "Risk, Uncertainty and Profit" (1921).


Leftwitch has defined market competition in the following words:


"Prefect competition is a market in which there are many firms selling identical products with no firm large enough, relative to the entire market, to be able to influence market price".


According to Bllas:


"The perfect competition is characterized by the presence of many firms. They sell identically the same product. The seller is a price taker".


The main conditions or features of perfect competition are as under:     


Features/Characteristics or Conditions:


(1) Large number of firms. The basic condition of perfect competition is that there are large number of firms in an industry. Each firm in the industry is so small and its output so negligible that it exercises little influence over price of the commodity in the market. A single firm cannot influence the price of the product either by reducing or increasing its output. An individual firm takes the market price as given and adjusts its output accordingly. In a competitive market, supply and demand determine market price. The firm is price taker and output adjuster.


(2) Large number of buyers. In a perfect competitive market, there are very large number of buyers of the product. If any consumer purchases more or purchases less, he is not in a position to affect the market price of the commodity. His purchase in the total output is just like a drop in the ocean. He, therefore, too like the firm, is a price taker.


In the figure (15.1) PK is the market price determined by the market forces of demand and supply. The price taker firm has to adjust and sell its output at Price PK or OE.





(3) The product is homogeneous. Another provision of perfect competition is that the good produced by all the firms in the industry is identical. In the eyes, of the consumer, the product of one firm (seller) is identical to that of another seller. The buyers are indifferent as to the firms from which they purchase. In other words, the cross elasticity between the products of the firm is infinite.


(4) No barriers to entry. The firms in a competitive market have complete freedom of entering into the market or leaving the industry as and when they desire. There are no legal, social or technological! barriers for the new firms (or new capital) to enter or leave the industry. Any new firm is free to start production if it so desires and stop production and leave the industry if it so wishes. The industry, thus, is characterized by freedom of entry and exit of firms.


(5) Complete information. Another condition for perfect competition is that the consumers and producers possess perfect information about the prevailing price of the product in the market. The consumers know the ruling price, the producers know costs, the workers know about wage rates and so on. In brief, the consumers, the resource owners have perfect knowledge about the current price of the product in the market. A firm, therefore, cannot charge higher price than that ruling in the market. If it does so, its goods will remain unsold as buyers will shift to some other seller.


(6) Profit maximization. For perfect competition to exist, the sole objective of the firm must be to get maximum profit.




Perfect competition model is hotly debated in economic literature. It is argued that the model is based on unrealistic assumptions. It is rare in practice. The defenders of the model argue that the theory of perfect competition has positive aspect and leads us to correct conclusions. The concept is useful in the analysis of international trade and in the allocation of resources. It also makes us understand as to how a firm adjusts its output in a competitive world.


Distinction Between Pure Competition and Perfect Competitions:


For a pure competition to exist, there are three main requisites, i.e., (1) homogeneity of product (2) large number of firms and (3) ease of entry and exist of firms.


A perfect competition, on the other hand, is made up of all the six postulates stated earlier.                

Relevant Articles:

Market Structure
Perfect Competition
Equilibrium of the Firm
Short Run Equilibrium of the Price Taker Firm
Short Run Supply Curve of a Price Taker Firm
Short Run Supply Curve of the Industry
Long Run Equilibrium of the Price Taker Firm
Long Run Supply Curve For the Industry
Price Determination Under Perfect Competition
Market Price
Determination of Short Run Normal Price
Long Run Normal Price and the Adjustment of Market Price to the Long Run Normal Price
Distinction/Difference Between Market Price and Normal Price
Interdependent Prices
Joint Supply
Fixation of Railway Rates

Composite or Rival Demand


Principles and Theories of Micro Economics
Definition and Explanation of Economics
Theory of Consumer Behavior
Indifference Curve Analysis of Consumer's Equilibrium
Theory of Demand
Theory of Supply
Elasticity of Demand
Elasticity of Supply
Equilibrium of Demand and Supply
Economic Resources
Scale of Production
Laws of Returns
Production Function
Cost Analysis
Various Revenue Concepts
Price and output Determination Under Perfect Competition
Price and Output Determination Under Monopoly
Price and Output Determination Under Monopolistic/Imperfect Competition
Theory of Factor Pricing OR Theory of Distribution
Principles and Theories of Macro Economics
National Income and Its Measurement
Principles of Public Finance
Public Revenue and Taxation
National Debt and Income Determination
Fiscal Policy
Determinants of the Level of National Income and Employment
Determination of National Income
Theories of Employment
Theory of International Trade
Balance of Payments
Commercial Policy
Development and Planning Economics
Introduction to Development Economics
Features of Developing Countries
Economic Development and Economic Growth
Theories of Under Development
Theories of Economic Growth
Agriculture and Economic Development
Monetary Economics and Public Finance

History of Money

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