Discuss the features of an Oligopolistic market structure Certainly! An oligopolistic market structure is characterised by a small number of large firms dominating the market for a particular product or service.
In this structure, each firm’s actions have a significant impact on the market as a whole. Here are some key features of an oligopolistic market:
Few Dominant Firms:
In an oligopoly, there are only a few firms that control a substantial portion of the market share. These firms often have significant influence over pricing and other market variables.
The decisions made by one firm in an oligopoly directly affect the decisions and strategies of other firms. Firms need to consider the potential reactions of their competitors when making decisions about pricing, production, advertising, and other aspects.
Barriers to Entry:
Oligopolistic markets tend to have high barriers to entry, which can make it difficult for new firms to enter and compete effectively. These barriers could be due to high startup costs, economies of scale, strong brand identities, or control over key resources.
Firms in an oligopoly often engage in product differentiation to create a competitive edge. This can involve branding, quality variations, and other unique features that set their products apart from competitors.
Due to the interdependence of firms, non-price competition becomes crucial. Firms might focus on advertising, innovation, customer service, and other strategies to gain a competitive advantage without solely relying on price changes.
Collusion and Cooperation:
Oligopolistic firms may engage in collusion, where they cooperate to set prices or output levels that benefit all firms involved. However, this can sometimes lead to antitrust concerns and legal challenges.
Oligopolies often exhibit price rigidity, meaning that prices tend to remain stable even in the face of changes in demand or cost. This is due to the fear of provoking price wars or retaliation from competitors.
Now, let’s discuss the reasons that lead to the emergence of an oligopolistic market structure: