On the origins of the concept of natural monopoly: Economies of scale and competition
Manuela Mosca ()
The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2008, vol. 15, issue 2, 317-353
The present article contributes to the history of the concept of natural monopoly, focusing on the reconstruction of its origins. The paper considers various facets of natural monopoly: the expression itself; the singling out of the concrete situations to which it is applied; the inquiry into economies of scale; the consideration of their incompatibility with perfect competition; the drawing of the diagram; and the need for government intervention. In this paper each of the above features is separately examined from a historical perspective. Priorities and influences are then traced, and in particular it is found that the pivotal figure in this historical reconstruction is that of Edgeworth. The relation of the concept of natural monopoly with that of competition is also highlighted, as well as its policy implications.
Keywords: Natural monopoly; economies of scale; competition; cost curves; network industries; contestable markets; barriers to entry; market power (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (12) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:15:y:2008:i:2:p:317-353
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought is currently edited by José Luís Cardoso
More articles in The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought from Taylor & Francis Journals
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Chris Longhurst ().