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profit-maximizing quantity and prices

Monopolistic competition refers to a market where many firms sell differentiated products. Differentiated products can arise from characteristics of the good or service, location from which the product is sold, intangible aspects of the product, and perceptions of the product.

If the firms in a monopolistically competitive industry are earning economic profits, the industry will attract entry until profits are driven down to zero in the long run. If the firms in a monopolistically competitive industry are suffering economic losses, then the industry will see an exit of firms until economic profits are driven up to zero in the long run.

A monopolistically competitive firm is not efficient because it does not produce at the minimum of its average cost curve or produce where P = MC. Thus, a monopolistically competitive firm will tend to produce a lower quantity at a higher cost and charge a higher price than a perfectly competitive firm.

Monopolistically competitive industries do offer benefits to consumers in the form of greater variety and incentives for improved products and services. There is some controversy over whether a market-oriented economy generates too much variety