Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Monopolies (from the Greek monopolion , “one seller”) are markets with a single producer or distributor of a certain product or service. In addition, this exclusivity serves as a barrier to free market entry, product differentiation, and a stable (inelastic) demand for products due to the non-availability of close substitutes. In economics, monopolies are the antithesis of free competition markets with multiple producers or distributors (sellers) of a product or service. Neoclassical and most contemporary economists regard monopolies as secondary, imperfect, and deviant markets in relation to free competition as a primary, perfect, and normal market. Market monopolies can produce social problems on several interconnected grounds. These grounds are concentration of economic ...