# Chapter 9: Monopoly and Imperfect Competition

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1 A. Total revenue and marginal revenue Definition: total revenue = total amount received from selling product Definition: total revenue = total amount received from selling product Definition: marginal revenue = amount received from selling one more unit of product P = price of product = number of units sold P = total revenue Definition: marginal revenue = amount received from selling one more unit of product (P) or d(p) d Firm with downward-sloping curve Price (P) Demand for firm's product uantity () 1

2 Example: Firm with downwardsloping curve Example: Firm with downwardsloping curve P P TR Demand for firm's product 1 Demand for firm's product Price (P) Price (P) uantity () uantity () Example: Firm with downwardsloping curve Example: Firm with downwardsloping curve P TR 17 Demand for firm's product 17 revenue Price (P) Demand for firm's product uantity () Price (P) uantity () P TR revenue () Note: < P uantity () Reason: more quantity means lower price Special case: linear curve Special case: linear curve Demand for firm s product: P = a - b P Demand curve: slope = -b P = a + b a is the intercept -b is the slope Intercept = a 2

3 P = a + b total revenue: P = (a - b) = a - b 2 marginalrevenue: d(p) d = a -2 b revenue: a 2b This is equation of a line where a is the intercept 2b is the slope P Demand for firm s product: P = a - b Demand curve: slope = -b A. Total revenue and marginal revenue B. revenue for a perfectly competitive firm Intercept = a revenue curve: slope = -2b Extreme case: Firm with perfectly elastic curve Price (P) Demand for firm's product uantity () Price (P) Extreme case: Firm with perfectly elastic curve Demand for firm's product uantity () P TR 3

4 Extreme case: Firm with perfectly elastic curve P TR Extreme case: Firm with perfectly elastic curve P TR Demand for firm's product 1 Demand for firm's product 1 Price (P) Price (P) uantity () uantity () Conclusion: if is perfectly elastic, then = P If is less than perfectly elastic, then < P uestion: but don t curves always slope down (i.e., always less than perfectly elastic)? Answer: yes, but it s a question of degree Key issue: how much of market does each firm control? A. Total revenue and marginal revenue B. revenue for a perfectly competitive firm C. The difference between individual firm s curve and market curve Consider entire U.S. market for tomatoes More than 5 million tons produced each year Sell wholesale for about \$50/ton 4

5 Consider entire U.S. market for tomatoes More than five million tons produced each year Sell wholesale around \$50/ton Suppose has elasticity of -1 Means % increase in U.S. production (500,000 more tons) would lower price by % (from \$50 to \$45) Consider individual tomato farm Produces 1,000 tons per year Consider individual tomato farm Produces 1,000 tons per year % increase in one farm s production is 0 tons This is 1/50,000 = % of U.S. market U.S. price would drop 0.002% (from \$50/ton to \$49.99/ton) Price (\$ per ton) Comparison of industry-wide curve with individual producer s curve Industry-wide curve uantity (millions of tons) Price (\$ per ton) Individual farm's curve uantity (tons) Example: earth is approximately flat Perfect competition: firm for all practical purposes ignores any potential effect of its actions on the market price Represent as: perfectly elastic curve Justification: this firm is a very small part of the total market 5

6 Imperfect competition: firm takes into account the effect of its actions on price Monopoly: firm is the only seller in the entire market Comparison of industry-wide and individual producer s curve when there is a monopoly Price (\$ per ton) Industry-wide curve Price (\$ per ton) Individual firm's curve uantity (millions of tons) uantity (millions of tons) A. Total revenue and marginal revenue B. revenue for a perfectly competitive firm C. The difference between individual firm s curve and market curve D. Total and marginal Definition: total total expensesfirm would incur in order to produce quantity marginal additional of producingone more unit Total Δ(TC) Δ 5 40 d 6 54 d(tc) or 6

7 Total A. Total revenue and marginal revenue B. revenue for a perfectly competitive firm C. The difference between individual firm s curve and market curve D. Total and marginal E. Profit maximization Proposition: any firm maximizes profit by setting marginal revenue equal to marginal First method of proof: calculus TR total revenue TC total TR TC profit Firm maximizes profit by finding derivative of profit with respect to and setting it to zero requires d TR TC d d TR d 0 d TC d or marginal revenue marginal Second method of proof: intuition Suppose the firm wasn t following our advice, and operated at a level where > MC 7

8 Then if it produced one more unit: its revenues would go up by its s would go up by MC if > MC, its revenues would go up by more than its s if it produced one more unit Conclusion: if > MC, firm can increase profits by producing one more unit Or, suppose instead the firm wasn t following our advice, and operated at a level where < MC Then if it produced one less unit: its revenues would go down by (bad) its s would go down by MC (good) if < MC, its savings more than make up for lost revenue Conclusion: if < MC, firm can increase profits by producing one less unit Combined implication: firm is only maximizing profits if it sets = MC Any firm will try to set = MC For a perfectly competitive firm, = P Therefore, a perfectly competitive firm will set P = MC That is, it will choose a level of production at which the marginal of producing one more unit is equal to the price Any firm will try to set = MC For an imperfectly competitive firm or monopolist, < P Therefore, an imperfectly competitive firm will set MC < P That is, it will choose a level of production at which the marginal of producing one more unit is less than the price 8

9 E. Profit maximization F. Price and output under perfect competition Price (P) Supply decisions for farm 1 Cost for farm uantity () If P =, farm 1 produces 1 unit If P = 12, farm 1 produces 2 units If P = 14, farm 1 produces 3 units Supply decisions for farm 2 Price (P) Cost for farm uantity () If P =, farm 2 produces 2 units If P = 12, farm 2 produces 4 units If P = 14, farm 2 produces 6 units Suppose there are 0 different farms like farm 1 and 0 farms like farm 2 If P =, type 1 farms produce 1 unit each (0 total), type 2 farms produce 2 units each (200 units total) So if P =, all farms together produce 300 units If P = 12, type 1 farms produce 2 units each (200 total), type 2 farms produce 4 units each (400 units total) So if P = 12, all farms together produce 600 units If P =, all farms together produce 300 units If P = 12, all farms together produce 600 units If P = 14, all farms together produce 900 units Price (P) Supply curve for entire industry uantity) 9

10 Conclusion: under perfect competition, industry-wide supply curve is horizontal summation of each firm s individual marginal curve MC for type 1 MC for type 2 MC1 MC2 P P P Supply curve for whole industry supply 2 total = 0 x + 0 x 2 Market equilibrium under perfect competition P Industry-wide curve Industry-wide supply curve E. Profit maximization F. Price and output under perfect competition G. Price and output under monopoly Equilibrium price Equilibrium quantity Suppose now that a single company buys up all the farms. John D. Rockefeller set out to acquire all oil production and refining operations in the 1870 s

11 If one single company controlled all these farms, what would the marginal curve for the company look like? If company wants to produce 300 units, cheapest way is 1 unit from each of type 1 farms and 2 units from each of type 2 farms (If it produced a second unit from a type 1 farm or a third unit from a type 2 farm, would more than \$ to produce) This means that the marginal of producing 300 th unit is \$ To produce 600 units, should produce 2 units on each type 1 farm and 4 units on each type 2 So marginal of producing 600 th unit is \$12 MC for type 1 MC for type 2 MC1 MC2 P P P curve for monopoly 2 total = 0 x + 0 x 2 Conclusion: the marginal curve for the megafirm is the horizontal summation of the individual marginal curves for each individual farm In other words, the marginal curve for the monopolist is the same as the industry-wide supply curve under perfect competition But rather than face a relatively flat curve, monopolist would operate on the scale of the entire market 11

12 Monopolist will choose so that = MC Demand for firm s product: P = a - b P Demand curve: slope = -b P MC Intercept = a revenue curve: slope = -2b Firm chooses level of output given by Firm will charge highest price it can Firm chooses price given by P MC E. Profit maximization F. Price and output under perfect competition G. Price and output under monopoly H. Comparison of perfect competition with monopoly Firm chooses level of output given by Monopolist chooses (,) Price Perfect competition results in (2,P2) Price supply P2 P P2 Monopolist chooses (,) Perfect competition results in (2,P2) MC < 2 > P2 uantity 2 uantity 2 12

13 Comparison of industry-wide curve with individual producer s curve E. Profit maximization = MC F. Price and output under perfect competition P Industry-wide curve Price (\$ per ton) Industry-wide curve uantity (millions of tons) Price (\$ per ton) Individual farm's curve uantity (tons) Industry-wide supply curve The earth is flat Equilibrium price Equilibrium quantity E. Profit maximization F. Price and output under perfect competition G. Price and output under monopoly H. Comparison of perfect competition with monopoly Monopolist chooses (,) Price uantity Perfect competition results in (2,P2) Price supply P2 2 uantity Consumers worse off under monopoly Conclusion: monopoly results in a higher price and less output being produced Consumer surplus under monopoly Consumer surplus under perfect comp supply P2 2 13

14 Firms better off under monopoly Society worse off under monopoly Producer surplus under monopoly Producer surplus under perfect comp Total surplus under monopoly Total surplus under perfect comp supply supply P2 P2 2 2 Society worse off under monopoly Deadweight loss under monopoly Total surplus under perfect comp supply P2 2 Adam Smith (1776): An individual producer neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it... [but is] led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Why invisible hand works under perfect competition: to firm from producing one more unit = resources that must be surrendered to produce the good benefit to customer from producing one more unit is the price they re willing to pay If marginal benefit to consumer (price) were greater than marginal of production, society would be better off producing one more unit. Under perfect competition, marginal benefit to consumer (price) is set equal to marginal, and so social surplus is maximized. 14

15 Under monopoly, price (marginal benefit to consumer of getting more goods) is greater than marginal to society of producing one more unit. Deadweight loss results when these desired goods don t get produced. Deadweight loss represents goods that should be produced but aren t Deadweight loss under monopoly Total surplus under perfect comp P2 2 supply E. Profit maximization F. Price and output under perfect competition G. Price and output under monopoly H. Comparison of perfect competition with monopoly I. Price discrimination Up to this point, we assumed that monopolist had to charge all customers the same price Price discrimination: monopolist has the power to charge different people different prices for the same product Demand for coke curve Demand for coke curve \$2.50 \$2.50 Price (\$ per can) \$2.00 \$1.50 \$1.00 \$0.50 Price (\$ per can) \$2.00 \$1.50 \$1.00 \$0.50 Sell to this person for \$2.00 \$ \$ Number willing to buy Number willing to buy

16 Demand for coke curve Price (\$ per can) \$2.50 \$2.00 \$1.50 \$1.00 \$0.50 \$0.00 Sell to this person for \$2.00 Sell to this person for 50 cents Number willing to buy Perfect price discrimination : monopolist can charge each customer the maximal amount that customer is willing to pay Under perfect price discrimination, marginal revenue would be the price Monopolist that can discriminate perfectly Consumers have zero surplus under perfect price discrimination P Pa Monopolist chooses to produce Charges this customer price Pa MC Consumer surplus under usual monopoly Consumer surplus under perfect price discrimination Pb Charges this customer price Pb = marginal revenue 2 Demand = Firm is better off under perfect price discrimination Producer surplus under usual monopoly Producer surplus under perfect price discrimination Value of benefit to firm of price discrimination exceeds loss to consumers Total surplus under usual monopoly Total surplus under perfect price discrimination Demand = Demand = 2 2

17 There is no deadweight social loss from perfect price discrimination Total surplus under perfect competition Total surplus under perfect price discrimination Price discrimination is hard to implement: (1) It s against the law supply marginal 2 Demand = Clayton Act of 1914: It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, either directly or indirectly, to discriminate in price between different purchasers of commodities of like grade and quality Price discrimination is hard to implement: (1) It s against the law (2) All customers will try to buy at the lowest price (3) Firm doesn t know each customer s maximal price (4) Firm must be able to prevent resale Many firms find ways to implement partial price discrimination anyway: (1) Each passenger on this flight may have paid a different price (2) Sales and promotions You could buy coke at Ralph s for: \$3.33 a 12-pack on Jan 13 (3 for \$9.99) \$3.00 for 6-pack on Jan 13 (2 for \$6.00) \$3.00 for 12-pack on Jan 17

18 (3) Discounts for seniors, students, children, Problem set 2: due week of Jan pages , probs #2 a-b-c, #5, #6, #7 a-e, #9 a-e First exam will be Thursday Feb 2 in class Exam will only cover Chapters 7, 9 & Exam will have some multiple choice, some fill in the blank Discussion sections that meet Feb 2 after the exam won t meet Discussion sections that meet Jan 30-Feb 2 before the exam will meet H. Comparison of perfect competition with monopoly Monopoly makes consumers worse off Monopoly makes producers better off Monopoly is inefficient H. Comparison of perfect competition with monopoly I. Price discrimination Consumers worse off under price discrimination than usual monopoly Firm better off under price discrimination than usual monopoly Perfect price discrimination is efficient H. Comparison of perfect competition with monopoly I. Price discrimination J. Natural monopoly 18

19 We also assumed that each individual firm s marginal curve sloped up, so that industry-wide supply curve was the horizontal sum of all the individual MC curves We motivated our discussion by supposing that the industry started out as perfectly competitive and one company bought up all the firms MC for type 1 MC for type 2 MC1 MC2 P P P Supply curve for whole industry supply 2 total = 0 x + 0 x 2 The assumption of increasing average s (also called decreasing returns to scale) is natural in some industries (e.g. agriculture) but not in others (e.g., petroleum refining) Definition: An industry in which an increase in the quantity produced leads to a decrease in average per unit is called a natural monopoly This property is sometimes referred to as increasing returns to scale Example: to refine petroleum products, there is an enormous fixed (build refinery) but thereafter marginal of additional production is roughly constant up to the capacity of the plant Suppose you build an oil refinery for \$2 billion. Each year you will have to pay interest on the debt, taxes, maintenance, insurance, etc. of say \$200 million. This \$200 million per year is a fixed you pay even if you produce nothing. 19

20 uantity (gals/yr) Fixed Total Average For each gallon of gasoline you refine, you ll need to buy more crude oil, pay for more labor, energy, Suppose this marginal of producing each additional gallon of gasoline is \$1 per gallon. 0 0 M 200 M 300 M 400 M uantity (gals/yr) Fixed Total Average uantity (gals/yr) Fixed Total Average 0 \$1/gal 0 \$1/gal 0 M \$1/gal 0 M \$1/gal \$300 M 200 M \$1/gal 200 M \$1/gal \$400 M 300 M \$1/gal 300 M \$1/gal \$500 M 400 M \$1/gal 400 M \$1/gal \$600 M uantity (gals/yr) 0 Fixed \$1/gal Total Average and average M \$1/gal \$300 M \$3/gal M \$1/gal \$400 M \$2/gal \$/gallon MC AC 300 M \$1/gal \$500 M \$1.67/gl M \$1/gal \$600 M \$1.50/gl Millions of gallons 20

21 Total is area of rectangle \$/gallon Total of producing 200 M gals/year is (200 M gals) x (\$2/gal) = \$400 M MC AC AC = TC/ TC = AC x Note that if the perfect competition condition (P = MC) held in this industry, the firm would make a loss Millions of gallons Firm would make a loss if P = MC Total revenues if firm produces and sells for price = MC \$/unit Total s if firm produces \$/unit Price and output decisions for natural monopoly \$ per unit Firm chooses to produce at output = AC AC1 AC MC MC AC MC uantity uantity uantity Price and output decisions for natural monopoly Price and output decisions for natural monopoly \$ per unit \$ per unit Firm chooses to charge price Firm s revenues are x AC MC AC MC uantity uantity 21

22 Price and output decisions for natural monopoly Price and output decisions for natural monopoly \$ per unit \$ per unit AC1 Firm s total s are AC1 x AC MC AC1 Firm s total profits are this area AC MC uantity uantity Even a monopolist can still make a loss \$ per unit AC1 AC Produces Charges price Average AC1 Firm s losses are this area MC H. Comparison of perfect competition with monopoly I. Price discrimination J. Natural monopoly K. Where do monopolies come from? 1. Cartels or producer co-operatives uantity Definition: A cartel is a group of producers who agree to restrict output in order to raise the price Obstacles to running a cartel: (1) They re illegal in the United States 22

23 Sherman Antitrust Act (1890): Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding \$,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, \$350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court. Sherman Antitrust Act (1890): Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding \$,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, \$350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court. Amended to: \$0 M and years under H.R. 86 (signed into law June 2004) OPEC: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Prosecution of cartels is taken seriously. Obstacles to running a cartel : (1) They re illegal in the United States. (2) Each member of a cartel has an incentive to cheat on their agreement. Example: consider a cartel consisting of countries each producing 2 million barrels of oil per day. of production: Physical of added production Opportunity (oil may be worth more next year) 23

24 Suppose total marginal is \$20/barrel and current price is \$41/barrel Suppose further that if OPEC increased production 1 million barrels per day, price would fall from \$41/barrel to \$40/barrel Then the marginal revenue for OPEC as a whole from producing another million barrels per day is: \$40/b x 1 M b/day - \$1/b x 20 M b/day = \$20 M /day we supposed was \$20/b, so additional of producing extra 1 M b/day is \$20 M Conclusion: = MC = \$20 M So for these figures, OPEC would currently be maximizing the collective profit of all its members However, suppose one country (say Kuwait) by itself could produce an extra 1 M b/day without the other countries finding out Kuwait s marginal revenue: \$40/b x 1 M b/day - \$1/b x 2 M b/day = \$38 M /day Kuwait s marginal : \$20 M/day So Kuwait would make an extra \$18 M each day by cheating on the rest of the cartel Most international cartels throughout history have fallen apart after a short period from these forces. 24

25 But what about OPEC? Many economists believe that OPEC in fact is not operating as a cartel, but is just a collection of countries each acting in its own interests. Actual figures: OPEC produces 30 M bl/day Saudi Arabia alone produces 9 M bl/day OPEC = Saudi Arabia K. Where does monopoly or oligopoly come from? 1. Cartels or producer co-operatives Problems: illegal in U.S. and incentive to cheat 2. Mergers or acquisitions Problems with merging to create monopoly: (1) The merger can be challenged by U.S. Department of Justice or Federal Trade Commission Celler-Kefauver amendment to Clayton Act (1950): Prohibits mergers or acquisitions that would reduce competition 1997: FTC blocked merger of Office Depot with Staples 2000: U.S. Department of Justice blocked merger of WorldCom and Sprint 1999: FTC approved the merger of Mobil and Exxon 25

26 Problems with merging to create monopoly: (1) The merger can be challenged by U.S. Department of Justice or Federal Trade Commission (2) If you act as a monopoly, new competitors will appear MC1 MC for type 1 MC for type 2 MC1 MC1 MC2 MC1 2 total = 0 x + 0 x 2 curve for monopoly There is strong incentive for new firms to enter market A Tomato Farm Is Not Hard To Start A tomato farm is not that hard to start Conclusion: a successful monopoly or oligopoly requires barriers to new entry K. Where does monopoly or oligopoly come from? 1. Cartels or producer co-operatives 2. Mergers or acquisitions 3. High fixed s and barriers to entry 26

27 Increasing returns to scale only hold up to the efficient scale of the plant Example: there are 9 refineries in the U.S. today However, there were 263 refineries in the U.S. in 1982 No new refineries built in last quarter century and 0 shut down Reason: difficulties in getting new sites approved The kind of gasoline that can be legally sold varies from county to county Conclusion: environmental regulation can raise substantial barriers to entry and has made the U.S. gasoline industry substantially less competitive over the last 25 years K. Where does monopoly or oligopoly come from? 1. Cartels or producer co-operatives 2. Mergers or acquisitions 3. High fixed s and barriers to entry 4. Explicit government restrictions a. Government licenses or franchises Yosemite Concession Services 27

28 Permits to operate a taxi K. Where does monopoly or oligopoly come from? 4. Explicit government restrictions a. Government licenses or franchises b. Patents and copyrights Reason for copyright or patent: There were big fixed s in creating book (say, \$300,000) Before book was written, fixed s weren t fixed. Before book was written, made a guess that would sell,000 copies of writing one more book: \$300,000 fixed +,000 books x \$20 marginal per book = \$500,000 revenue from one more book:,000 books x \$60/book = \$600,000 Based on this market expectation, looked like a good deal But if price only covered the marginal production of \$20/book, book would never have been written Patents and copyright: Government intentionally creates a legal monopoly for creator of original work in order to provide incentive for the work to have been created in the first place 28

29 Lipitor (lowers cholesterol) 0 pills (20 milligrams) \$290 in U.S. \$201 in Canada Pfizer spent \$7.5 billion on research this year Downloading music from the web is nearly zero If I had to pay I wouldn t buy it, so what s the harm? Suppose you d pay 50 cents for a recording If you were charged \$1.00, wouldn t buy it This would be example of deadweight loss from monopoly Problem: if everybody could do this, what would be incentive to have produced music in the first place? Issue: from the point of view of policy, are fixed s really fixed? Practical solution: patents and copyrights don t last forever K. Where does monopoly or oligopoly come from? 4. Explicit government restrictions 5. Exclusive control over important inputs 63% of the world s known oil reserves are in the Middle East 23% of the world total are in Saudi Arabia alone 29

30 Much of the gasoline delivered to San Diego comes through a single pipeline owned by Kemper Morgan Ability to exercise monopoly control limited by close substitutes E.g., gasoline can be shipped from L.A. to San Diego by truck at extra over pipeline K. Where does monopoly or oligopoly come from? 4. Explicit government restrictions 5. Exclusive control over important inputs 6. Network economies Network economies: users receive benefits when they all are using the same product First exam will be Thursday Feb 2 in class Exam will only cover Chapters 7, 9 & Example: computer operating system Here again, potential substitutes limit ability to exercise monopoly power DIRECTIONS: No calculators, books, or notes of any kind are allowed. All papers and notebooks must remain closed and on the floor at all times throughout the exam, and students are not allowed to leave the examination room until finished. Answer all questions in the space provided with the exam. 5 points are possible on this exam. HINTS: Feel free to use either of the following formulas if you find them useful. Area of a triangle = (1/2) (base) (height) Area of a trapezoid = (1/2) (base1 + base2) (height) PART I: MULTIPLE CHOICE circle the correct answer (4 points each, 72 points total) PART II: FILL IN THE BLANK (33 points total) credit for correct answer only (no partial credit) For sample problems see problem sets 1 and 2. 30

31 Reminders of study resources: Lecture slides available from class web page Your text book and its study questions Copies of old exams from class web page AS Lecture notes available for sale in Old Student Center in Revelle College 31

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