On the Origins of the Concept of Natural Monopoly

30 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2007

See all articles by Manuela Mosca

Manuela Mosca

Università del Salento (Lecce) - Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Economia

Date Written: December 2006

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to begin writing the history of the concept of natural monopoly. In economics natural monopoly is described as a situation in which, for structural reasons, only one firm finds it profitable to produce in the market. The following features which go to make up the notion of natural monopoly are identified: 1. the expression itself; 2. the singling out of the concrete situations to which it is applied; 3. the inquiry into economies of scale; 4. the consideration of their compatibility with competition; 5. the drawing of the diagram; 6. the request for Government intervention. In this paper each of the above features is separately examined from a historical perspective, highlighting the originality of economic theories in that specific respect, as well as their historical influence.

Keywords: history of economics, natural monopoly, cost curves, competition

JEL Classification: B10, D42, H40, L90

Suggested Citation

Mosca, Manuela, On the Origins of the Concept of Natural Monopoly (December 2006). Università di Lecce Department of Economics Working Paper No. 92/45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=975461 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.975461

Manuela Mosca (Contact Author)

Università del Salento (Lecce) - Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Economia ( email )

Lecce 73100
Italy

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