CHAPTER 15 MONOPOLY 343 CONCLUSION: THE PREVALENCE OF MONOPOLY This chapter has discussed the behavior of firms that have control over the prices they charge. We have seen that because monopolists produce less than the socially efficient quantity and charge prices above marginal cost, they cause deadweight losses. These inefficiencies can be mitigated through prudent public policies or, in some cases, through price discrimination by the monopolist. How prevalent are the problems of monopoly? There are two answers to this question. In one sense, monopolies are common. Most firms have some control over the prices they charge. They are not forced to charge the market price for their goods, because their goods are not exactly the same as those offered by other firms. A Ford Taurus is not the same as a Toyota Camry. Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is not the same as Breyer’s. Each of these goods has a downward-sloping demand curve, which gives each producer some degree of monopoly power. Yet firms with substantial monopoly power are quite rare. Few goods are truly
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