Postal peril: the checks aren't in the mail
Related link(s): https://www.richmondfed.org/-/media/richmondfedorg/publications/research/econ_focus/2009/summer/feature1_weblinks.cfm
Sunk costs, contestability, and the latent contract market
The idea that an industry with sunk costs may be contestable even in the absence of long-term contracts has received little attention from formal economic theory yet is popular among monopolists facing antitrust suits. The paper formally illustrates the argument. In an infinitely repeated game, there exists a class of contestable outcomes in which the monopolist sells only on the spot market and charges low prices along the equilibrium path to prevent customers from resorting to long-term contracts. Then, the crucial test for contestability is the level of transaction costs in the latent ...
Learning in the marketplace: free entry is free riding
New and larger costs of monopoly and tariffs
Fifty-eight years ago, Harberger (1954) estimated that the costs of monopoly, which resulted from misallocation of resources across industries, were trivial. Others showed the same was true for tariffs. This research soon led to the consensus that monopoly costs are of little significance?a consensus that persists to this day. ; This paper reports on a new literature that takes a different approach to the costs of monopoly. It examines the costs of monopoly and tariffs within industries. In particular, it examines the histories of industries in which a monopoly is destroyed (or tariffs ...
Modelling complementarity in monopolistic competition
In recent years, monopolistic competition models have frequently been applied in macroeconomics, international and interregional economics, and economic growth and development. In this paper, I present a highly selective review in this area, with special emphasis on the complementarity and its role of generating multiplier processes, agglomeration, underdevelopment traps, regional disparities, and sustainable growth, or more generally, what Myrdal (1957) called the principle of circular and cumulative causation.
Shared ownership and pricing in a network switch
IER Lawrence Klein Lecture: the case against intellectual monopoly
In the modern theory of growth, monopoly plays a crucial role both as a cause and an effect of innovation. Innovative firms, it is argued, would have insufficient incentive to innovate should the prospect of monopoly power not be present. This theme of monopoly runs throughout the theory of growth, international trade, and industrial organization. We argue that monopoly is neither needed for, nor a necessary consequence of, innovation. In particular, intellectual property is not necessary for, and may hurt more than help, innovation and growth. We argue that, as a practical matter, it is more ...
Competition at work : railroads vs. monopoly in the U.S. shipping industry
This study primarily establishes two things: (1) that monopoly has been pervasive in the U.S. water transportation industry in both the 19th and 20th centuries and has led to prices above competitive levels and the adoption of inefficient technologies and (2) that the competition of railroads has greatly weakened this monopolistic tendency, leading to lower water transport prices and fewer inefficient technologies. The study establishes these points using standard economic theory and extensive historical U.S. data on the behavior of unions and shipping companies. These gains from competition ...