EconH200L12

EconH200L12 - Monopoly A monopoly is a firm who is the sole...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–7. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Monopoly A monopoly is a firm who is the sole seller of its product, and where there are no close substitutes. An unregulated monopoly has market power and can influence prices. Examples: Microsoft and Windows, DeBeers and diamonds, your local natural gas company. Individual restaurants and other products that enjoy “brand loyalty” in otherwise competitive markets will choose prices and output just like monopolists do. [monopolistic competition]
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Monopolies arise because of: (1) A key resource is owned by the firm. For example, Debeers and diamonds. (2) The government gives a firm the exclusive right to produce a good. Examples include: Proposition 3 on slot machine gambling, patents on new drugs, copyrights on software and books. Some government monopolies are the result of special interests and corruption, some enhance efficiency by encouraging innovation.
Background image of page 2
(3) The costs of production make one producer more efficient than many, due to increasing returns to scale–“natural monopoly.” Examples include: Columbia Gas, American Electric Power, a toll bridge across a river. There is a fixed or setup cost in building the bridge, but the marginal cost of allowing one more car is close to zero. Therefore, average cost falls as quantity of cars increases . Once the bridge is built, the natural monopoly does not fear entrants into the market. If a second bridge is produced, average costs would nearly double as the two producers split the market. Having just one bridge is more efficient.
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Profit Maximization for a Monopoly The key difference between a perfectly competitive firm and a monopoly is that the competitive firm faces a flat demand curve, because it can sell as much as it wants at the market price. In a market with thousands of small firms, one firm’s “residual” demand curve is very flat, even if the market demand curve is not. On the other hand, a monopolist must accept a lower price if it wants to sell significantly more output.
Background image of page 4
Monopoly Revenue Consider the following table for a monopoly water producer. Average revenue is equal to the price for any Q, AR = P×Q/Q, but marginal revenue is less than the price. In fact, marginal revenue, ª TR/ ª Q, can even be negative.
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
revenue, P×Q. First, there is the output effect. When Q goes up, the second part of P×Q is higher. Second, there is the price effect. When Q goes up, the first part of P×Q is lower, due to the fact that we have a downward sloping demand curve. If the price did not change as a result of the increased quantity, we would only have a quantity effect, and marginal revenue would be the same as the price. For a price taker, there is no price effect, so
Background image of page 6
Image of page 7
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 07/17/2008 for the course H 200 taught by Professor Fleisher during the Fall '08 term at Ohio State.

Page1 / 21

EconH200L12 - Monopoly A monopoly is a firm who is the sole...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 7. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online