Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Adam Smith on Monopoly Theory. Making good a lacuna

Salvadori, Neri and Signorino, Rodolfo (2012): Adam Smith on Monopoly Theory. Making good a lacuna.

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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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