NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Dealing with Monopolies”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at dealing with monopolies.  Mike, the word monopoly conjures up a bad image to most people.  They think of bad service, high prices, and not alternative.  Do we still have monopolies today, and if so, how do we deal with them?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. One area where monopolies still persist is in power generation
  2. Law of diminishing marginal costs makes first company to get there the dominant company
  3. Deal with through regulation – usually at state level
  4. One other monopoly example may be health care in some regions – again, address with regulation, although some would like to change laws to encourage more competition
  5. But big question today is whether some internet companies are headed to monopoly power – some have called for regulation
  6. But if regulate, do you stifle innovation
  7. Also – technology field is fast changing – firms dominating today may disappear in years ahead
  8. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension