So at what price-quantity combination will pure monopolists choose to operate?
The monopolist seeking to maximize its profits will have the same rationale as a firm in a competitive industry. It will produce one more unit of output only if it adds more to total revenue than to total cost. The firm will increase its output till the point where MR=MC.
One more way to find profit-maximizing output is by comparing total revenue and total cost at each quantity of production. The quantity for which this difference has the greatest possible value is the one which offers maximum profit.
No Monopoly Supply Curve
In pure competitive market MR=P (price) and supply curve of a pure competitive firm is determined by applying P=MR=minimum ATC profit-maximizing rule, so in a pure market the seller will maximize profit by supplying the amount of goods for which MC= P. Thus, in a pure competitive market the amount of goods produced depends on the price.
We may say that pure monopolist’s marginal-cost curve will be also its supply curve, but it is wrong. The pure monopolist has no supply curve, because there is no a unique relation between quantity supplied and price set by a monopolist. Like pure competitor firm, monopolist equalizes MR with MC to determine the quantity output, but for monopolists marginal revenue is less than price. Also, because monopolist doesn’t equalize marginal cost to price, it may have different prices for the same amount of output.
Misconceptions about Monopoly Pricing
People often believe that monopolists will try to get highest possible price for their goods and services, because they can manipulate price, but this statement isn’t correct. There are some prices for which monopolists will get smaller-than-maximum profit, so they will try to avoid them. Monopolists are trying to get maximum total profit, but not maximum price. Some High prices will reduce dramatically quantity sold and total revenue, so that monopolists will try to produce a decrease in cost.
Monopolists seek maximum total product, not maximum unit profit. They will choose smaller unit profit, not the maximum one, because additional sales add to total revenue. For example a profit-seeking monopolist will sell five units of a good at 37$ (total profit 185$) than four units at 40$ (total profit 160$)
Monopolists are more likely to get economic profit than pure competitor. In long run pure competitor is destined to get only normal profit, but price adjustment ability and barriers at entry at monopolists offer them possibility to get economic profit.
But pure monopoly doesn’t always guarantee profit. It is neither immune to change in taste of consumers that reduces demand for the product nor to change in price of resources. So an industry can suffer great losses because of relatively low demand and high resource prices.
Like pure competitors, monopolists won’t continue to operate in an industry where they get continued losses. So if they are faced with this situation, pure monopolists may move their resources to alternative uses that offer better opportunities for economic profit. Thus, monopolies can also realize normal profit in long run.