I want to explain perfect competition to students using a few practical examples without going into much of the theory. But I want it to be theoretically accurate and I don't want to claim that those are examples of 'perfect competition'. I am thinking about calling it 'near perfect competition', but I wonder if there is a conventional term for a market that is close to perfect competition. This wikipedia article mentions 'close-to-perfect competition' but I'm not sure if that's a conventional term.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is "efficient" not strong enough for what you're looking for? $\endgroup$ – Joe Lee-Moyet Feb 27 at 11:47

I don't think there is a standard term for what you'd want to refer to. I'd consider the following good candidates though:

  • Near-perfect / almost-perfect / close-to-perfect / epsilon-perfect competition (the last of course comes from the notion of epsilon-equilibrium in game theory)
  • Markets with low concentration, or lowly / sparsely concentrated markets (based on the empirical measure of concentration ratio)

I do not have a special term, but I give this analogy:

We know what a triangle is. But in the real world, it is impossible to draw a perfect triangle and there do not exist examples of perfect triangles.

Similarly, we have just learnt what perfect competition is. But in the real world, there do not exist examples of perfect competition. Nonetheless, here are some examples of real-world markets that come "close to" perfect competition ...

We stress that these markets are not actual examples of perfect competition. (To repeat, such examples do not exist.) Instead, these are merely examples that come "close to" perfect competition.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a great explanation, I will definitely use it. You have my thanks and upvote, but I got to accept the answer by Herr K because I really need a word for it not just for explaining, but for much less exciting administrative purposes of naming lessons, experiment apps etc. $\endgroup$ – Arthur Tarasov Feb 27 at 23:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.