The Political Economy of Imperfect Competition

Journal of Public Policy Vol. 5, No. 2 (May, 1985), pp. 169-186

Posted: 18 Dec 2017

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: May 1, 1985


Economic actors command political power as well as economic power. It is used to the same effect to create monopolies and oligopolies. The two powers can be combined; e.g., aside from monopolies based only on economic power or only on government intervention, there are especially powerful monopolies that command both powers. The stability of the various power holders is related to the nature of their power base; pure economic power is particularly unstable. However, economic power can be more readily amassed than interventionist power, which violates norms, and has a sharply declining marginal utility. When the effects of interventionist power are added to those of economic power, economies such as America, which are often classified as quite competitive, turn out to be much less so.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, The Political Economy of Imperfect Competition (May 1, 1985). Journal of Public Policy Vol. 5, No. 2 (May, 1985), pp. 169-186. Available at SSRN:

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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