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By Joseph A. Schumpeter (Author) , Rendigs Fels (ed.)

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In a market in which there can, owing to perfect homogeneity of the commodity and perfect mobility and indifference of buyers, be only one price, is controlled by firms that are in a position to influence that price by their individual action (oligopoly or, if there are but two of them, duopoly), it is easy to see that we lose the conditions which enforce determinatcness of behavior in the perfectly competitive case as well as those which account for such de-tcrminateness as there is in the monopoly case.

Imperfect Competition. — From our discussion of the case of perfect competition we emerge with the result that there is a real tendency toward equilibrium states in a perfectly competitive world. Qualifications and reservations do not materially impair our tool. They rather improve, although they also complicate, it by supplying us with a rich menu card of possible cases, the theory of which comes in usefully at many crossroads of any study of cycles. But many readers who admit this will question whether this is still so when we leave the precincts of the perfectly competitive case.

Of course, since we never meet perfect equilibria in real life, there will in general be many other cases of it even without rigidity and even without friction. 7. Of course we do not attribute omniscience to our firms and households, or any theoretical understanding of the processes in which Joseph Schumpeter, Business Cycles. (1939) 46 they play a part, but simply that amount of information and understanding which they actually possess and which varies greatly between different groups. In the case of an undisturbed stationary process this question is of little moment, everyone having been taught by experience to follow the beacon lights which are relevant to him.

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