Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Monopoly †economics Essay

In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: ? Why do monopolies arise? ? Why is MR < P for a monopolist? ? How do monopolies choose their P and Q? ? How do monopolies affect society’s well-being? ? What can the government do about monopolies? ? What is price discrimination? Economics PRINCIPLES OF N. Gregory Mankiw Premium PowerPoint Slides by Ron Cronovich  © 2009 South-Western, a part of Cengage Learning, all rights reserved 1 Introduction ? A monopoly is a firm that is the sole seller of a product without close substitutes. Why Monopolies Arise. The main cause of monopolies is barriers to entry – other firms cannot enter the market. Three sources of barriers to entry: 1. A single firm owns a key resource. E. g. , DeBeers owns most of the world’s diamond mines 2. The govt gives a single firm the exclusive right to produce the good. E. g. , patents, copyright laws 2 ? In this chapter, we study monopoly and contrast it with perfect competition. ? The key difference: A monopoly firm has market power, the ability to influence the market price of the product it sells. A competitive firm has no market power. MONOPOLY MONOPOLY 3 Why Monopolies Arise 3. Natural monopoly: a single firm can produce the entire market Q at lower cost than could several firms. Example: 1000 homes need electricity ATC is lower if one firm services all 1000 homes than if two firms each service 500 homes. MONOPOLY Monopoly vs. Competition: Demand Curves In a competitive market, the market demand curve slopes downward. But the demand curve for any individual firm’s product is horizontal at the market price. The firm can increase Q without lowering P, so MR = P for the competitive firm. 4 Cost Electricity ATC slopes downward due to huge FC and small MC ATC 500 1000 Q P A competitive firm’s demand curve $80 $50 D Q 5 MONOPOLY 1 10/23/2012 Monopoly vs. Competition: Demand Curves A monopolist is the only seller, so it faces the market demand curve. To sell a larger Q, the firm must reduce P. Thus, MR ? P. P ACTIVE LEARNING A monopoly’s revenue Common Grounds is the only seller of cappuccinos in town. The table shows the market demand for cappuccinos. Fill in the missing spaces of the table. Q 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 P $4. 50 4. 00 3. 50 3. 00 2. 50 2. 00 1. 50 7 1 TR AR n. a. MR A monopolist’s demand curve D Q MONOPOLY 6 What is the relation between P and AR? Between P and MR? ACTIVE LEARNING Answers Here, P = AR, same as for a competitive firm. Here, MR < P, whereas MR = P for a competitive firm. Q 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 Common Grounds’ D and MR Curves P TR $0 4 7 9 10 10 9 AR n. a. $4. 00 3. 50 3. 00 2. 50 2. 00 1. 50 8 MR $4 3 2 1 0 –1 Q P MR $4 3 2 1 0 –1 $4. 50 4. 00 3. 50 3. 00 2. 50 2. 00 1. 50 0 $4. 50 1 2 3 4 5 6 4. 00 3. 50 3. 00 2. 50 2. 00 1. 50 P, MR $5 4 3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 0 1 2 3 Demand curve (P) MR 4 5 6 7 Q 9 MONOPOLY Understanding the Monopolist’s MR ? Increasing Q has two effects on revenue: ? Output effect: higher output raises revenue ? Price effect: lower price reduces revenue ? To sell a larger Q, the monopolist must reduce the price on all the units it sells. Profit-Maximization ? Like a competitive firm, a monopolist maximizes profit by producing the quantity where MR = MC. ? Once the monopolist identifies this quantity, it sets the highest price consumers are willing to pay for that quantity. ? Hence, MR < P ? MR could even be negative if the price effect exceeds the output effect (e. g. , when Common Grounds increases Q from 5 to 6). 10 ? It finds this price from the D curve. MONOPOLY MONOPOLY 11 2 10/23/2012 Profit-Maximization 1. The profitmaximizing Q is where MR = MC. 2. Find P from the demand curve at this Q. Q Costs and Revenue MC The Monopolist’s Profit Costs and Revenue MC ATC P D MR Quantity As with a competitive firm, the monopolist’s profit equals (P – ATC) x Q P ATC D MR Q Quantity Profit-maximizing output MONOPOLY 12 MONOPOLY 13 A Monopoly Does Not Have an S Curve A competitive firm ? takes P as given ? has a supply curve that shows how its Q depends on P. A monopoly firm ? is a â€Å"price-maker,† not a â€Å"price-taker† ? Q does not depend on P; rather, Q and P are jointly determined by MC, MR, and the demand curve. So there is no supply curve for monopoly. MONOPOLY 14 CASE STUDY: Monopoly vs. Generic Drugs Patents on new drugs give a temporary monopoly to the seller. Price The market for a typical drug PM When the patent expires, PC = MC the market becomes competitive, generics appear. QM D MR Quantity QC MONOPOLY 15 The Welfare Cost of Monopoly ? Recall: In a competitive market equilibrium, P = MC and total surplus is maximized. The Welfare Cost of Monopoly Competitive eq’m: quantity = QC P = MC total surplus is maximized Monopoly eq’m: quantity = QM P > MC deadweight loss Price Deadweight MC loss? In the monopoly eq’m, P > MR = MC ? The value to buyers of an additional unit (P) exceeds the cost of the resources needed to produce that unit (MC). ? The monopoly Q is too low – could increase total surplus with a larger Q. ? Thus, monopoly results in a deadweight loss. P P = MC MC D MR QM QC Quantity MONOPOLY 16 MONOPOLY 17 3 10/23/2012 Price Discrimination ? Discrimination: treating people differently based on some characteristic, e. g. race or gender. Perfect Price Discrimination vs. Single Price Monopoly Here, the monopolist charges the same price (PM) to all buyers. A deadweight loss results. Price Consumer surplus Deadweight loss ? Price discrimination: selling the same good at different prices to different buyers. PM MC ? The characteristic used in price discrimination is willingness to pay (WTP): ? A firm can increase profit by charging a higher price to buyers with higher WTP. Monopoly profit D MR QM MONOPOLY 18 Quantity 19 MONOPOLY Perfect Price Discrimination vs. Single Price Monopoly Here, the monopolist produces the competitive quantity, but charges each buyer his or her WTP. This is called perfect price discrimination. The monopolist captures all CS as profit. But there’s no DWL. MONOPOLY Price Discrimination in the Real World ? In the real world, perfect price discrimination is not possible: ? No firm knows every buyer’s WTP ? Buyers do not announce it to sellers Price Monopoly profit ? So, firms divide customers into groups MC D MR Quantity based on some observable trait that is likely related to WTP, such as age. Q 20 MONOPOLY 21 Examples of Price Discrimination Movie tickets Discounts for seniors, students, and people who can attend during weekday afternoons. They are all more likely to have lower WTP than people who pay full price on Friday night. Airline prices Discounts for Saturday-night stayovers help distinguish business travelers, who usually have higher WTP, from more price-sensitive leisure travelers. MONOPOLY 22 Examples of Price Discrimination Discount coupons People who have time to clip and organize coupons are more likely to have lower income and lower WTP than others. Need-based financial aid Low income families have lower WTP for their children’s college education. Schools price-discriminate by offering need-based aid to low income families. MONOPOLY 23 4 10/23/2012 Examples of Price Discrimination Quantity discounts A buyer’s WTP often declines with additional units, so firms charge less per unit for large quantities than small ones. Example: A movie theater charges $4 for a small popcorn and $5 for a large one that’s twice as big. Public Policy Toward Monopolies ? Increasing competition with antitrust laws ? Ban some anticompetitive practices, allow govt to break up monopolies. ? E. g. , Sherman Antitrust Act (1890), Clayton Act (1914) ? Regulation ? Govt agencies set the monopolist’s price. ? For natural monopolies, MC < ATC at all Q, so marginal cost pricing would result in losses. ? If so, regulators might subsidize the monopolist or set P = ATC for zero economic profit. MONOPOLY 24 MONOPOLY 25 Public Policy Toward Monopolies ? Public ownership ? Example: U. S. Postal Service ? Problem: Public ownership is usually less efficient since no profit motive to minimize costs CONCLUSION: The Prevalence of Monopoly ? Doing nothing ? The foregoing policies all have drawbacks, so the best policy may be no policy. ? In the real world, pure monopoly is rare. ? Yet, many firms have market power, due to: ? selling a unique variety of a product ? having a large market share and few significant competitors ? In many such cases, most of the results from this chapter apply, including: ? markup of price over marginal cost ? deadweight loss MONOPOLY 26 MONOPOLY 27 CHAPTER SUMMARY ? A monopoly firm is the sole seller in its market. Monopolies arise due to barriers to entry, including: government-granted monopolies, the control of a key resource, or economies of scale over the entire range of output. CHAPTER SUMMARY ? Monopoly firms maximize profits by producing the quantity where marginal revenue equals marginal cost. But since marginal revenue is less than price, the monopoly price will be greater than marginal cost, leading to a deadweight loss. ? A monopoly firm faces a downward-sloping demand curve for its product. As a result, it must reduce price to sell a larger quantity, which causes marginal revenue to fall below price. 28 ? Monopoly firms (and others with market power) try to raise their profits by charging higher prices to consumers with higher willingness to pay. This practice is called price discrimination. 29 5 10/23/2012 CHAPTER SUMMARY ? Policymakers may respond by regulating monopolies, using antitrust laws to promote competition, or by taking over the monopoly and running it. Due to problems with each of these options, the best option may be to take no action. 30 6.

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