Section 01: Monopolies


Monopolies are on the other finish of the continuum from pure competition. A monopoly is composed of one firm that produces a distinctive product or service via no cshed substitutes. Enattempt right into the industry is blocked, which gives the firm industry power (i.e., the power to raise price above marginal cost). Historically, pure monopolies are rare and often brief lived because the factor for their presence (commonly blocked entry) is someexactly how weakened. For example, patents expire, brand-new resources are regularly uncovered, and new technologies permit new rivals into the sector. We will certainly expand also on these sources of monopoly power later on. It will certainly also end up being clear that firms have an motivation to attempt to acquire a syndicate. Studying the features and habits of a monopoly is a helpful referral allude specifically as soon as looking at the other sector structures.

As an interesting side note, once tbelow is only one seller in a market, it is called a monopoly, but when there is just one buyer in the industry, it is called a monopsony. We will save our conversation on monopsonies until close to the finish of the course.

A monopoly determines not just the quantity to create but also the price it will certainly charge. The demand curve the firm deals with is the market demand curve. Therefore if it desires to sell even more, it should lower the price. Does a monopoly have an motivation to advertise? Because the firm is likewise the industry demand also curve, it has actually one hundred percent of the sector share; but, monopolies might advertise to increase all at once sector demand or to improve goodwill certainly or public relationships.


Barriers to Entry

Recontact from our conversation of perfect competition that as soon as firms are able to acquire economic earnings, other firms/entrepreneurs are attracted to the sector and enattempt will occur till economic revenues are lessened to zero. But if there is a obstacle, enattempt by profit-seeking firms does not happen and economic revenues can persist. Tright here are a variety of various barriers that may permit a firm to exercise sector power (which really simply implies that a firm have the right to collection price above marginal cost and also extract positive profits). Barriers to entry include the following 5 barriers.

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1. Legal Barriers

Governments frequently regulate vital services in a city such as water, drain, and garbage. If all family members are required to have garbage business and also the federal government grants the contract to one firm, that firm would certainly have actually a monopoly.


2. Control of Necessary Inputs

Anvarious other barrier to entry have the right to happen as soon as firms are able to own or manage the essential inputs or sources, and as an outcome, they may have the ability to manage the sector. In the beforehand 1900’s, Standard Oil’s regulate of the oil refining and transportation was partially responsible for the passage of antitrust law which mentions regulations concerning monopolies and monopolizing practices. In the 1940s the government accprovided Aluminum Co. of America of being a syndicate by controlling the mineral bauxite, an essential input for making aluminum. De Beers’ control of unstable diamonds allowed it to regulate and also set diamond prices.


3. Netjob-related Externalities

Network-related externalities may likewise produce obstacles to enattempt. A positive network externality occurs as soon as the value of having actually or using an object boosts as others use the item. A phone or fax machine, for example, becomes even more valuable when others have phones or fax equipments. If the sector is overcame by a details product or brand, e.g., a computer operating system or specific software program, a network externality exists so customers don’t desire to readjust commodities or brands. So the externality creates a barrier for various other firms to enter through a contending product.

4. Economies of Scale

In specific industries organic monopolies exist where the long run average price curve continues to decline in the family member region of demand. Consequently, one firm is able to develop enough for the market at a reduced per unit price than would certainly be the situation if two firms mutual the market. In this case, positive earnings have the right to exist, yet entrants cannot enter to capture some of these earnings because sharing the sector indicates they need to enter at a smaller scale of procedure and therefore challenge greater average prices. The transmission of power is an instance of a natural monopoly.


5. Strategic Behavior

Firms might undertake other strategic actions to discourage potential rivals from entering the sector with pricing or manufacturing decisions. For example, a small tvery own may have just one gas station that sets prices a little reduced than the monopoly price (i.e., it does not act as a pure monopolist) in order to store profits low enough to deter others from entering the industry. Conversely, a firm may build a facility bigger than required as a threat that it will increase manufacturing if various other firms attempt to enter the industry. These strategic actions produce a obstacle to enattempt.

While not a true monopoly, Toy’s ‘R’ Us confronted antitrust involves for allegedly threatening that it would not sell manufacturers’ products unmuch less they resolved the price of those items once sold to competing discount stores.


A Single Price Monopolist

Unchoose firms in pure competition that only decide the amount to create, monopolists need to identify both the amount and also price. But these are not independent selections. Due to the fact that a monopolist encounters a downward sloping demand also curve, she have to lower the price if she desires to market even more goods (respeak to that the regulation of demand also claims that this inverse relationship exists between price and amount demanded). Given that the monopolist should charge the exact same price to all consumers (i.e. she cannot price discriminate), then to market even more, she should charge a lower price, not just on the last excellent she wants to offer, however on all of the product that she can have actually offered at the better price. This has actually crucial effects for marginal revenue. It indicates that marginal revenue falls at twice the rate of the demand curve (i.e. the slope is twice as steep). This can ideal be seen via an instance. Let’s assume that a monopolist have the right to sell 1 barrel of oil for $80 or 2 barrels for $79 each. To offer two barrels, price should drop by $1. But MR for the second one is readjust in TR divided by readjust in amount or (158 – 80) / (2-1) = $78. So MR fell by $2 ($80-78) – twice the rate as price!!

The marginal revenue curve for a solitary priced monopolist will certainly constantly be twice as steep as the demand also curve. Due to the fact that the demand also curve shows the price and the marginal revenue curve is below the demand also curve, the price is no much longer equal to the marginal revenue as it remained in pure competition.

The additional mile for the mathematically inclined students:

For those wanting to watch mathematically why the marginal revenue curve is twice as steep as the demand also curve, below is the math. Let’s assume Demand is P = 10-2Q. In our instance, the slope of the demand curve is -2. Total Revenue which is equal to price times quantity equals (10-2Q)Q = 10Q-2Q2. Using this equation we deserve to evaluate the adjust in complete revenue as Q transforms. For instance, let’s look at the readjust in complete revenue as quantity alters from 3 to 4. When Q equals 3, the complete revenue is 4 and as soon as Q amounts to 4, the total revenue is 8. A change in full revenue of 4 dollars as Q rises by one means a slope of -4 which is twice the slope of demand. For those that have actually had calculus, take the first derivative of 10Q-2Q2 to obtain the marginal revenue of 10 – 4Q, which provides a slope of -4.


Determining Price and Quantity

Profit maximization for a monopoly charging a single price will occur wright here marginal revenue is equal to marginal cost. It is crucial to note that this gives the profit maximizing amount yet the price is established by going as much as the demand also curve. That is, the price is acquired based upon what consumers are willing to pay for that quantity level which is determined by the demand curve.


Profits for the monopolist are derived by calculating complete revenue (TR) minus complete expense (TC). TR=optimal price * optimal quantity (the combined area of the blue and grey boxes in the figure). Taking the average full expense times the profit maximizing amount provides the total expense. In the brief run, a monopoly might earn short run profits or losses, yet unfavor firms in pure competition that have zero economic profits in the long run, monopolies can keep long run revenues. If lengthy run earnings are negative, the firm would leave the market and also the great would no longer be created, since the monopoly was the only firm in the sector.


Respeak to from our conversation on elasticities that alengthy a linear demand also curve, tright here is an elastic and also inelastic portion. In the elastic percentage, reduced prices boosts complete revenue, and also in the inelastic percentage complete revenue drops as price decreases. Total revenue is maximized at unit elasticity which occurs where marginal revenue is zero.

This provides for a crucial monitoring. Due to the fact that we would suppose marginal price to be positive and a monopolist chooses to produce wbelow MR=MC, we deserve to conclude that a monopolist would just develop in the elastic region of the demand curve.



1. Determine the profit maximizing amount and also price for a single priced monopolist. Is the monopolist producing in the elastic region of the demand curve at that point?



Following the decision dominance of creating where the marginal revenue amounts to the marginal price, we can determine that producing 6 systems and charging a price of $550 will maximize earnings. At the 6th unit, our marginal revenue is 175 and the marginal cost is 140. At salso devices the marginal expense would exceed the marginal revenue. In looking at the column on the much right, we verify that this is the amount that maximizes earnings. At 6 units of output, the mid-allude elasticity between 5 and also 6 units is 1.42, which is elastic.


At 6 devices the marginal revenue is still better than the marginal expense, but considering that it is much less at the seventh unit six systems maximizes revenues.


Comparing to Pure Competition

Recall that pudepend competitive firms develop wbelow MC is equal to price and also that market supply is derived by horizontally adding the MC curves of the firms in an market. In equilibrium, the industry supply curve (the sum of the MC curves) crosses the demand curve. If the monopoly wregarding act in the very same fashion, it would certainly develop where its MC curve crosses the demand curve (just like the sum of the MC curves cross the demand also curve in pure competition – just it is the amount of one curve). So in comparing the outcome for pure competition to that of monopolywe view that a solitary price monopolist will certainly produce much less than the pucount competitive market and charge and also higher price.


In pure competition, financial excess which is customer plus producer excess, is maximized. The industry is allocatively reliable creating where the price is equal to the marginal cost. By restricting output and also raising price, the single price monopolist captures a section of the customer excess. Since output is restricted, a section of both the consumer and also producer excess is lost. This loss of financial surplus is known as deadweight loss, that neither the consumer nor the producer enjoy.


A monopolist may or may not be productively efficient; it relies on whether it is developing at a suggest wbelow ATC is at the minimum allude. Productive performance means least-expense and also this occurs wright here ATC is at its minimum allude. In general, monopolies are not productively efficient. Monopolies might likewise endure from what is called x-inefficiency. X-inperformance arises as soon as expenses creep up because of lack of competition and/or actions gone after by the monopolist to protect its monopoly place. These monopoly protecting actions are additionally dubbed rent-seeking activities.


Monopolies will certainly often go after rent seeking activities spfinishing time or money on tasks that are not concerned the manufacturing of the excellent or service but intfinished to boost the sector power and profitcapability of the firm. For instance, major soft drink service providers, such as Coke or Pepsi, will certainly offer millions to a university or stadium if they are permitted to be the sole soft drink merchant. Likewise athletic wear firms might offer a university payments or discounts if they are permitted to be the single merchant of apparel. These expenditures are not related to the production of the excellent or company however give them a syndicate in the respective markets.

Legal cartel theory argues that some markets may look for to be regulated or desire that regulation continues, so that the number of firms is limited and the existing firms can act favor a syndicate. Regulation such as limiting the variety of firms or people in a sector (e.g., medical institution, state liquor licenses, or taxi cabs in New York City) might be done via “great intentions,” however they approve existing firms more sector power which leads to greater prices and also a lower quantity supplied.

Section 02: Price Discrimination

Price Discrimination

If rather of charging each customer the very same price, a firm can price discriminate, which suggests charging different prices to different consumers based upon their willingness to pay, how would certainly they behave? What would be compelled for a firm to have the ability to price discriminate?

Certain conditions must host in order for a firm to charge various prices for the exact same product. First, a firm must be able to collection the price (i.e. it should have actually some market power). Second, the firm must have the ability to segment the sector into groups based upon either their willingness to pay or their various elasticities of demand also. Third, the firm should be able to prevent resale of the item from one sector segment to another.

These may seem like hard or unmost likely problems. But in truth, price discrimination can be found in a range of sectors including automobile sales, movie and airline tickets, utilities and phone rates. Even student discounts are a type of price discrimicountry.

First Degree or Perfect Price Discrimination

Tright here are 3 different degrees or levels of price discrimination. These levels are pertained to how well the monopolist deserve to recognize individual willingness to pay and also segment the market appropriately.

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First level or perfect price discrimination is once a firm charges each consumer their maximum willingness to pay, which is reflected by the demand also curve. As in other cases, it is optimal for the firm to choose its output at the point wright here MR=MC. But if a firm can charge each perchild his/her maximum willingness to pay, then MR = price as found on the demand also curve. So it would be willing to market its commodities as much as the point wright here the MC curve crosses the demand also curve, i.e. where MC = price = MR.This implies that not only will the firm would certainly be willing to sell more units than it did as a solitary priced monopolist, however it will certainly likewise be allocatively reliable because price equates to marginal expense at the last unit. However, each customer is currently paying her maximum willingness to pay, and therefore receives no customer surplus. So although the output level is allocatively efficient and also the same as perfect competition would certainly acquire, the circulation of economic excess is rather various – the firm extracts all of the surplus!

Since a firm might be unable to assess each consumers maximum willingness-to-pay and also the price of gathering that information might be prohibitive, initially degree price discrimination is often tough /difficult to implement. The legislation profession is probably the finest instance of perfect price discrimination – their sell for a “cost-free consultation” is designed to achieve information on willingness and also capability to pay. Some other examples of attempts at perfect price discrimicountry would certainly be a vehicle salesmale that tries to assess each consumer’s maximum willingness-to-pay and charges appropriately. Auctions additionally try to reach each consumer’s maximum price.


Third Degree Price Discrimination

When a monopolist cannot perfectly identify and segment consumers based upon individual willingness to pay, there still may be a way to extract some (yet less) customer surplus to rise revenues. Second level price discrimicountry (to be debated later) and also 3rd degree price discrimicountry might be employed under the appropriate problems. Third level price discrimination might be employed as soon as the firm cannot identify individual demands, but have the right to identify groups of consumers that have actually similar requirements and also deserve to segment them based upon some easily identifiable characteristic such as age, time of purchase, residency, or place. Then the monopolist charges various prices to the different groups based on their loved one elasticities of demand. The even more inelastic the demand also, the higher the price. This form of price discrimination is most widespread. Being able to segment the sector, into teams that have actually different elasticities, permits the firm to charge various prices and rise all at once profitcapacity. Respeak to that the firm must have the ability to prevent the resale of the good for price discrimicountry to occupational. This is why we frequently watch 3rd level price discrimicountry in the business sector, wright here the nature of the product or organization makes the resale of the excellent to another segment of the industry tough or impossible. Here are a couple of examples of 3rd level price discrimination.

Movie theaters often charge various prices based on the moment of intake and also age. The elasticity of demand also for those attfinishing a matinee is even more elastic than those in the time of primetime, so a lower price is charged for the matinee. Young kids and senior citizens have various elasticities of demand than young adults, which permit the theaters to price as necessary.

Airlines also price discriminate. Those purchasing tickets at leastern 2 weeks in advance generally gain a reduced price than individuals purchasing tickets just a day or 2 before the trip. The distance and also destination of the trip additionally make a distinction given that tbelow are fewer substitutes if one is flying to say Hawaii verses one more city within the state.

Gas stations within the same city regularly price discriminate charging a higher price at stations located cshed to the interstate or on the main roadways.

Some design template parks, such as Disneyland also and Disney World, market inhabitants of California and Florida various prices than non-state citizens.


2nd Degree Price Discrimination

2nd degree price discrimination is imposed when the monopolist knows that tright here are two or even more groups of consumers with different willingness to pay, yet she cannot determine which consumers belong to each group. If we make points straightforward and assume that tright here are two teams, a high demand also team (H) and a low demand team (L), then ideally, she’d like to charge a high price to the H team and also a low price to the L group. But if the she does this, consumers in the H team will certainly case to be from the L group and everyone will certainly obtain the low price. 2nd degree price discrimination or block pricing charges different prices to various customer groups based on the amount consumed. That is, the firm knows that the H consumers are willing to purchase a greater quantity than the L consumers at the exact same price. Because of this, it will certainly collection a price for the L group that extracts all of their customer excess for a little amount level (say $2 for a package of 4 rolls of toilet paper), yet this would certainly leave H consumers through some consumer surplus because they have actually a higher demand also. To get at least some of that consumer excess from them, the monopolist sets a greater price for a larger package that targets H consumers (say $3.50 for a package of 8 rolls of toilet paper). The volume discount encourages the H consumers to buy the larger package and additionally enables the firm to extract more of their customer excess, bereason they gain them to buy a larger amount (otherwise they would just buy the 4 roll package). Unprefer perfect price discrimicountry that extracts every one of the customer surplus, in second degree price discrimination, the high demand team still keeps some.

Two-Part Tariff

There are a number of pricing methods that do not seem prefer price discrimination, however in reality are! One is worthy of note:the two-component tariff. The two-component tariff charges individuals an upfront membership fee then additionally charges them a per usage fee. Under the appropriate conditions, the two-component tariff renders perfect price discrimination feasible. For example, some golf and health clubs charge an annual membership fee in enhancement to the per use fee for each round of golf or workout. If the marginal expense of offering a round of golf is ten dollars, then the golf club charges a ten dollar per usage fee and the golfer decides to play 25 rounds of golf per year. If tright here was no membership fee the area below the demand also curve and over the price would certainly be customer surplus, however, by charging a membership fee equal to the area of consumer surplus (respeak to the area of a triangle is .5*base*height or .5*25*60 = $750), the golf club is able to transform the consumer excess into additional revenue for the firm. This is of course, first degree or perfect price discrimicountry if the membership fee differs by consumer based upon willingness to pay. Conversely, if the firm can’t determine individual needs, yet knows the needs for various teams, it could still usage two-part tariffs to obtain the second level price discrimination outcome. Either means, the firm extracts some of the customer excess as extra revenues.

Anvarious other example of a two-component tariff would certainly be a cell phone firm that charges a monthly fee in addition to a per minute charge. Although other pricing methods exist, you should be able to understand also the impetus for why firms would certainly want to price discriminate.


Section 03: Antitrust and Regulation

Performance and also Structure

Monopolies and also firms that collude to act like monopolies, mitigate competition and create inefficiencies in the sector. We have actually seen that single priced monopolists are neither allocatively effective (price equals marginal cost at the last unit produced) nor productively reliable (creating at the lowest average cost). Consequently, the United States government has passed particular regulations that restrict monopolies.

Government deserve to evaluate a market based upon the structure of the sector, i.e., the number of firms in the market and also the barriers to enattempt, or by the market’s performance or conduct, i.e., the actions of the firms and also the resulting prices and efficiencies. Should a syndicate exist, the government deserve to pursue a variety of options:

(1) break up the monopoly under antitrust laws; (2) regulate the monopoly; or (3) disregard the monopoly, if they anticipate that the monopoly will be short lived or have actually negligible affect.


Whenever before firms end up being huge in dimension or huge family member to their industry, policy-devices recognize that these firms are even more able to seek monopoly-type conduct and acquire inefficient market outcomes. At the exact same time, development of a firm, as we have actually viewed, allows it to capture economic climates of range and scope. So when huge firms merge, the benefits have to be measured against the potential for effectiveness losses. There are 3 basic kinds of mergers. A horizontal merger is the merger or consolidation of 2 or more producers of the same product or organization. For example, if a flour mill buys an additional flour mill. Vertical mergers happen once firms at different stages of production of a product merge. For instance, a flour mill that buys a wwarm farm would certainly be an instance of an upstream vertical merger (upstream indicates input-supplying), while the flour mill buying a bakery would be an instance of a downstream vertical merger (downstream indicates output-using). Conglomeprice mergers occur once the merging firms create unrelated commodities, such as a flour mill purchasing a computer system company. Conglomeprice mergers might allow a firm economies of scope or to diversify. Historically, numerous tobacco service providers have actually purchased food carriers, such as Kraft, to help them diversify and boost their public image.


Antitrust Legislation

In 1890, the Shermale Antitrust Act was passed to reduce the power of firms that managed a large percent of a market. It made it illegal to get involved in activities in that cause the “restraint trade or commerce”, such as price resolving, and tasks which monopolize or attempt to monopolize. This regulation targeted firms such as the Standard Oil Company which was monopolizing the refining and also circulation of the petroleum. However, this effective regulation was vague in many respects and also subsequent laws were passed to more explicitly outline activities that were illegal.

The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, empowered the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent or stop unfair methods of competition and also unfair or deceptive acts in or affecting business. Today the FTC and the Department of Justice’s antitrust division have the duty to investigate firms for antitrust behavior.

The Clayton Act of 1914, strengthened the Shermale Antitrust Act, making illegal price discrimination of “assets of like grade and also quality” as soon as it is reduces competition and is not justified by cost differences. The purchase of a competitor’s stock and having interlocking directories, wbelow the people are serving on both board of directors, are likewise illegal if they minimize competition. The Clayton Act also prohibits tie-in sales, wright here the purchase of one product is a problem of sale for an additional product. Later, the Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950 closed loopholes in the Clayton Act by restricting carriers from the purchase of the physical assets of rivals. While horizontal mergers were scrutinized under the Sherman Antitrust Act, vertical and conglomerate mergers could be blocked under the Celler-Kefauver Act if they could reduced competition.


Natural Monopolies

If an market has a herbal monopoly, a solitary firm is able to create at a lower per unit cost compared to having actually multiple firms in the industry. Hence, federal governments commonly opt to control rather of breaking up natural monopolies. An electric generating company, for example has actually high resolved expenses and the marginal expense of running power to an additional house is very low.


An unregulated single-priced monopoly would certainly maximize earnings wbelow marginal revenue equates to marginal expense, creating Qm and charging price, Pm. As the federal government procedures in to manage a sector, what price have to they allow a monopolist to charge?


Economically Efficient or Social Optimum Price

The financially effective or social optimum price would certainly occur where price equals marginal price, making the industry allocatively efficient. However before, since the average complete price is declining in the area of demand, and also marginal cost intersects average price at the minimum, marginal cost will be below the average cost in the pertinent array of demand. If regulators pressure a monopoly to price at this point, where price equals marginal price, they would certainly force the monopoly to incur a loss or negative financial earnings, which would inevitably force the monopoly out of business. Because the monopoly is the only producer, government could subsidize the monopoly for these losses such that they earn a normal return, but this is regularly politically hard.


Fair Rerevolve or Typical Cost Pricing

Additionally the government can force the monopoly to create where price amounts to average total price, leaving the firm a zero financial profit. Therefore the firm will reprimary in the market given that it is covering all chance prices. As demonstrated in our graph, the price is less than that of the unregulated monopoly but greater than the economically effective price. The drawback of this plan is that firms have actually no impetus to manage expenses. If costs rise, they deserve to ssuggest petition the federal government for price boosts. But if the firm improves performance and pursues expense cutting measures, the government would certainly pressure them to reduced prices. Thus local utility service providers may have more recent devices and also vehicles simply because of this perverse inspiration.