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Economic Definition of market structure continuum. Defined.

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Term market structure continuum Definition: A diagram illustrating alternative degrees of market control held by different types of market structures based on the number of firms in the market and the degree of competitiveness. As the number of competitors along the continuum ranges from one to many, the degree of market control ranges complete to none. At one end of the continuum, with many competitors on no market control, is perfect competition. At the other end, with one competitor and complete market control, is monopoly. Oligopoly and monopolistic competition comprise the interior of the continuum, with monopolistic competition having many competitors but limited market control and oligopoly having few competitors and greater market control. The continuum illustrates that clear-cut dividing lines really do not exist between the market structures, especially for monopolistic competition and oligopoly.


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