Competition I

OCW Scholar

« Previous | Next »

Session Overview


Working with the firm's cost function enables us to learn how much of each input the firm should optimally use to produce a given level of output. However, the firm still has to decide how much output it should produce. This decision depends on the type of market the firm is operating in. We begin by analyzing the most common type of market: perfect competition.

Firms, like auto racers, operate in a competitive environment. This image is a work of the US Federal Government and in the public domain. Source: Wikipedia.

Keywords: Perfect competition; search theory; residual demand; cost measurement; profit maximization.

Session Activities


Read the recitation notes, which cover new content that adds to and supplements the material covered in lecture.

Before watching the lecture video, read the course textbook for an introduction to the material covered in this session:

  • [R&T] Chapter 9, "Competitive Markets for Goods and Services."
  • [Perloff] Chapter 8, "Competitive Firms and Markets." (optional)

Lecture Videos


Check Yourself

Concept Quiz

This concept quiz covers key vocabulary terms and also tests your intuitive understanding of the material covered in this session. Complete this quiz before moving on to the next session to make sure you understand the concepts required to solve the mathematical and graphical problems that are the basis of this course.


Further Study

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

 Additional Readings

Learn more about Nobel Laureate Peter Diamond:

"Peter A. Diamond - Biographical."

« Previous | Next »