IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Retrospectives: How Joan Robinson and B. L. Hallward Named Monopsony


  • Robert J. Thornton


The term "monopsony" was introduced by Joan Robinson in her 1932 classic The Economics of Imperfect Competition, although she gives credit to classics scholar B.L. Hallward of Cambridge for the actual coining of the term. Even though the term has become widely accepted by economists, its literal meaning is more idiosyncratic than simply "one buyer" of a commodity or service. In this paper I discuss the etymology of the term monopsony and suggest several other words that would seem to be more appropriate for describing this market phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Thornton, 2004. "Retrospectives: How Joan Robinson and B. L. Hallward Named Monopsony," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 257-261, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:18:y:2004:i:2:p:257-261
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0895330041371240

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Conning, 2004. "The Causes of Slavery or Serfdom and the Roads to Agrarian Capitalism: Domar's Hypothesis Revisited," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 401, Hunter College Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:18:y:2004:i:2:p:257-261. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.