As we will see, this oligopolists' dilemma is what makes the study of oligopoly so fascinating and such a fertile area for economic research. Such firms constantly face the knowledge that both coordinated behavior and misrepresentation can be rewarding. All this derives from the "few firms" characteristic. The single most important characteristic of oligopoly.

   Restricted entry means that profits can exist in the long run. While this is important it doesn't add much of interest to our study. It simply means that entry won't drive profits to zero.

   In practice most oligopolies exhibit some product differentiation, but again, this isn't particularly important for our understanding. That Toyatas and Nissans are different is not as important as that they are similar enough to be in the same industry. The presence of product differentiation won't play an important role in our understanding of oligopoly.

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