Tag Archives: pure monopoly

Technological advance: invention, innovation, and diffusion.

31 Jul

technological advantage
       In economics technological advantage is new and better goods and services and new and better ways of producing or spreading them. This process occurs over a theoretical time called very long run, than can be as short as few weeks or as long as many years. Let’s recall that in all our market systems (pure competition, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and pure monopoly), the short run is a period in which technology, plant are fixed, however in the long run , technology is constant but the firms can change their plant size and are free to enter and exit the industry. In contrast, very long run is a period in which technology can change and firm can develop and supply totally new products.
   It’s known that technological advantage shifts product possibility curve upward, enabling economy to achieve more goods and more services. Technological advantage can be is made up of three parts: invention, innovation, and diffusion.
 Invention
   The first step to technological advantage is invention: the discovery of product or process of producing by using imagination, thinking and experimenting. Invention is a process and the result of it is also called invention. Invention is based in scientific knowledge and it is the result of work of individuals who work on their own or as members of Research and Development (R&D) departments in firms. Government encourages invention by providing patents, right to sell any innovative process of production, machines or products in a set time.
Innovation
Innovation is directly related to invention. While invention is “discovery and proof of workability”, innovation is the successful introduction of new product (invention) in the market, the first use of a new method of producing, or the creation of new form of business firm. There are two types of innovation: product innovation, improving products and services, and process innovation, which is improved ways of production and spreading of these inventions in the market.
In contrast to invention, innovations cannot be patented. Innovation needs not to weaken or destroy the existing firms. Because new products and processes threaten firms’ survival, existing firms have a high incentive to engage into research and development (R&D) process continuously. These innovative products and processes enable firm to earn higher revenue or to maintain the present ones. Innovation can strengthen or weaken market power.
 Diffusion
   Diffusion is the process of spreading of inventions through imitating or copying. To take the advantage of new profits or to slow down disappearing of others, all firms try to implement the innovations. In most of the cases innovation leads to widespread imitation (that’s diffusion) of inventions. For example, soon after McDonald’s introduced the fast-food hamburger, Burger Kings also started to produce it, since it offered high revenues for the firms that supplied this good.
Research and Development (R&D) Expenditures
When it’s related to business research and development means the efforts towards inventions, innovations and diffusion. Many countries engage in R&D of national defense, so that annually they spend thousands of billions of dollars.
Importance of Technological Advantage
   Technological advances for many centuries were viewed ad external to economies, like a force to which economies adjust. Periodically new advances in scientific and technological knowledge occurred. Firms and industries, incorporated new technology into their products and production process to increase or to maintain their revenues. After making some adjustments, they continue to settle into long-run equilibrium position. Economists believe that technological advantage is related to advance of science, which is very important for market system. Some of economists see capitalism is the as driving force of technological advantage. Technological advantage arises from rivalry among individuals and firms that motivates them to seek and exploit new opportunities of profit and of expanding. This rivalry occurs between new firms and existing ones. Entrepreneurs and innovators are viewed as heart of technological advantage.

Price Discrimination

24 Jul

Price Discrimination

      In all previous articles I assumed that monopolists charge a single price to all buyers. But under some conditions monopolists can increase their revenues by charging different prices to different demanders.  By doing this kind of act monopolist is engaging in price discrimination, the practice of selling of the same product to different buyers when the price difference aren’t justified by difference in cost.
   In order to engage in price discrimination there are some conditions that must be realized:

  • Market segregation– the seller should be able to differentiate the buyers into different classes, each of them having different wants and abilities to pay for the product.  This division of buyers is usually related to different elasticities of demand.
  • Monopoly power– another important characteristic is that seller should be a monopolist or at least to possess some monopoly power, so that he may control the quantity output and the price.
  • No resale-The original buyer mustn’t be able to resell the good or service. Otherwise, if the buyer from low-price segment is able to sell the goods purchased to buyers from high-price segment, then our seller will have some competition in high-price segment. This competition will reduce the price and will cancel seller’s price discrimination policy.

Examples of Price Discrimination
   Some movie theatre or golf clubs differentiate their charge on the basis of time ( lower rates in the night and higher rates in the evening) and age(younger- lower ability to pay, so less money is charged).  Another example can serve railroads where shipper of 1 tone of jewelry is charge more than a shipper of 1 tone of tomatoes.

Consequences of price discrimination
   Monopolist can increase its revenue by practicing price discrimination. At the same time, perfect price discrimination results in an increase of output. In this case each consumer pays the price that he or she is willing rather than to forgo the product.
   Other things equal, the monopolist that practices perfect price discrimination is producing a higher quantity of output than the monopolist that isn’t practicing it. When the non-discriminating monopolist lowers its price to sell additional unit, this lower price is applied not only to additional output but also to the prior units. So the non-discriminating monopolist’s marginal revenue falls more rapidly than the price and, marginal revenue, graphically, lies below demand curve. However when a discriminating monopolist lowers its price, this reduced price is applied only to additional units sold not to prior units. Thus marginal revenue equals price for each unit of output, graphically MR and Demand curve coincide.
   Although price discrimination results in more economic profit than that achieved by single price monopolist, it also results in greater output, so less allocative inefficiency.

Price Discrimination

Price Discrimination

Pure Monopoly

13 Jul

Pure monopoly

   Pure monopoly happens when one firm is the single supplier of a product for which there are not substitutes. Some of the main characteristics of pure monopoly are:

  • Single Seller– A pure monopoly is an industry in which a sole producer is the single supplier of a specific good or service in this market model.
  • No Close Substitutes– A pure monopoly’s product is unique and there aren’t any close substitutes for it, so that consumer has to choose to buy or not to buy the product.
  • Price-maker– The pure monopolist controls the quantity supplied of good and service, so that it controls the price.  This kind of firm or industry is called price-maker, unlike pure competitors which are price-taker, because they can’t control the price, since quantity produce by them is very small relative to total quantity output. The pure monopolist confronts downward-sloping curve.  So it can change the product’s price by changing the quantity of good that it produces. The monopolist can use this advantage to maximize its profits.
  • Blocked entry– A pure monopolist doesn’t have any competitors because there are some barriers that keep competitors away from entering the industry. These barriers may be technological, economical or some other types, but the fact remains that no other firms may enter in our pure monopoly market.

 There are very rare examples of pure monopoly, but there are examples of some less pure forms of it. In many countries many government-owned or government regulated public utilities (gas, water, electricity) may be monopolies. Also, some professional sport teams are thought to be monopolies, because they are suppliers of unique service in large geographic areas. Examples may serve some major football matches like between Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, which serve as representative of large cities in Spain.  In some small towns airline service or train-transport may be pure monopolies if they are represented only by one firm in these regions. Also, in some very small areas banks, pharmacies or theaters may be examples of pure monopolies.

Four Market Systems (summary)

9 Jul

  Market System

  There are four models of market system: pure competition, pure monopoly, oligopoly, monopolistic competition.

Let’s describe them briefly:

  • Pure competition– is a market structure that is composed of a very big number of firms that produce a standardized product. Entry and exit from this type of market is very easy.
  • Pure monopoly- is a market structure in which one firm (or a very few ones) is single seller of a product or service. Entry to this kind of market system is blocked, so one firm can rule the entire industry. Monopolists produce unique product and there is not any reason to difference it, since there are not competitors.
  • Monopolistic Competition-is characterized by relatively large number of suppliers who produce differentiated products. There is nonprice competition (each firm is trying to distinguish its product or service by some characteristics like quality, price). Entry to monopolistically competitive industry is relatively easy.
  • Oligopoly- is made up of sellers with identical or similar products so that the change in price of one may affect future decisions of other firms.

Pure monopoly, oligopoly and monopolistic competition are considered as imperfect competition.

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