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The Social Costs of Monopoly and Regulation

In: 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 2


  • Richard A. Posner

    (University of Chicago Law School and National Bureau of Economic Research)


This paper presents a model and some highly tentative empirical estimates of the social costs of monopoly and monopoly-inducing regulation in the United States. Unlike the previous studies, it assumes that competition to obtain a monopoly results in the transformation of expected monopoly profits into social costs. A major conclusion is that public regulation is probably a larger source of social costs than private monopoly. The implications of the analysis for several public policy issues, such as appropriate policy toward mergers and price discrimination, are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard A. Posner, 1975. "The Social Costs of Monopoly and Regulation," Springer Books, in: Roger D. Congleton & Kai A. Konrad & Arye L. Hillman (ed.), 40 Years of Research on Rent Seeking 2, pages 45-65, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sprchp:978-3-540-79247-5_2
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-79247-5_2

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