340 PART FIVE FIRM BEHAVIOR AND THE ORGANIZATION OF INDUSTRY W HAT ORGANIZATION IN OUR ECONOMY IS most successful at exerting market power and keeping prices away from their competitive levels? Economist Robert Barro reports on the first (and only) annual competition to find the most successful monopoly. Let’s Play Monopoly B Y R OBERT J. B ARRO It’s almost the end of summer and time for the first annual contest to choose the best operating monopoly in America. The contestants, selected by a panel of Har-vard economists, are as follows: 1. The U.S. Postal Service 2. OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] 3. Almost any cable TV company 4. The Ivy League universities (for administering financial aid to students) 5. The NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] (for administering payments to student-athletes) . . . Each contestant exhibits fine monopolis-tic characteristics and is worthy of seri-ous consideration for the award. The U.S. Postal Service claims to be the
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