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Adam Smith on Monopoly Theory. Making good a lacuna

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  • Salvadori, Neri
  • Signorino, Rodolfo

Abstract

The paper analyzes Adam Smith’s views on monopoly focusing on Book IV and V of The Wealth of Nations and argues that Smith has left his analysis of monopoly in an embryonic form while the majority of scholars have assessed it starting from premises different from those, actually though implicitly, used by Smith to approach this subject. We show that Smith makes use of the word ‘monopoly’ to refer to a heterogeneous collection of market outcomes, besides that of a single seller market, and that Smith’s account of monopolists’ behavior is richer than that provided by later monopoly theorists.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38411/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38411.

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Date of creation: 27 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38411

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Keywords: Competition; Monopoly; Classical Economics; Adam Smith;

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  1. Kurz,Heinz D. & Salvadori,Neri, 1995. "Theory of Production," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521443258.
  2. Stigler, George J, 1982. "The Economists and the Problem of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 1-11, May.
  3. Anderson, Gary M & Tollison, Robert D, 1982. "Adam Smith's Analysis of Joint-Stock Companies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1237-56, December.
  4. Gary Anderson & Robert D. Tollison, 1983. "Apologiae for Chartered Monopolies in Foreign Trade, 1600–1800," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 15(4), pages 549-566, Winter.
  5. Garegnani, Pierangelo, 1983. "The Classical Theory of Wages and the Role of Demand Schedules in the Determination of Relative Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 309-13, May.
  6. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226199993 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Manuela Mosca, 2008. "On the origins of the concept of natural monopoly: Economies of scale and competition," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 317-353.
  8. Salvadori, Neri & Signorino, Rodolfo, 2011. "Competition," MPRA Paper 38387, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. de Roover, Raymond, 1958. "The Concept of the Just Price: Theory and Economic Policy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(04), pages 418-434, December.
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