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Econ 201- Handout on Monopoly

Question

Answered

Task:

1.Explain the difference between the demand curve facing a perfectly competitive firm and one faced by a monopolist.  How does each choose the optimal level of output? What constrains the monopolist’s choice to charge any price it wants?

2.What are the necessary conditions for a monopoly position in a market to be established or maintained?

3.Explain why the following would or would not be a monopoly:

a.the best restaurant in town

b.your barber or beautician

c.your local telephone company

d.Amtrak

e.The United States Postal Service

4.Fill in the table of the excel file HW9 2019 Numerical Help.

a.Plot the demand curve (for Q= 4 to 40 by 4s), calculate TR at each level of output, then calculate MR.  

b.Plot the MR & MC curve on the same graph as in (a) to find Q* (optimal level of output).  Be sure it is consistent with the table.

c.How much will the firm produce?

d.How much will it charge?

e.How much profit per day will it make?

f.If a fixed tax of $1,000 is imposed on the firm, will this affect its price? Explain.

5.For the following list of products (a – h), identify whether the industry is perfectly competitive (PC), monopolistically competitive (MC), oligopoly (OL) or monopoly (MP) (use the chart posted on Bb on Comparison of Market Structures)

a.potatoes

b.soft drinks

c.water and sewer services

d.optometrists

e.peaches

f.restaurants

Discussion Question.  Read the two articles "Weakening Drug Patents Will Kill Off Medicines and Patients" by Chris Middleton and "Bird Flu, Bird Brains, and Economists" by Dean Baker regarding patent protection.  Discuss the role of patents in protecting monopoly power.  Why do we provide this protection?  What are the advantages to consumers and to society?  (Remember that monopoly profits also provide a benefit to those in society who receive them.)  What are the arguments against patent protection?  Are there other ways to improve the total benefit to society? 

Econ 201- Handout on Monopoly

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ECO10004 Economic Principles

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