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Understanding Monopolies in Economics

Learn more about the economic and financial implications of monopolies existing within any business sector.

Publisher: Khan Academy
With this free online course in understanding monopolies, you about market situations where one producer or a group of producers acting in concert controls the supply of a good or service. You will learn about how they can prevent the entry of new producers into a market, and exert influence on a market by keeping prices high and restricting output, and how they tend to show little or no responsiveness to the needs of their customers.
Understanding Monopolies in Economics
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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This course will first introduce you to the basics of a monopoly. You will look into the revenue and cost graphs for a monopoly and study total revenue, marginal revenue, and deadweight loss. You will learn that a monopoly makes a profit equal to total revenue minus total cost. When the total output is less than socially optimal, there is a deadweight loss and when the price is set above marginal cost, the firm earns a positive economic profit.

You will then learn why the slope of the marginal revenue curve for a monopolist is twice the slope of the demand curve. This course will also discuss oligopoly which is a state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers that dominate the market and are likely to change their prices according to their competitors. You will look into how it differs from a monopoly.

A monopoly exists when one particular business is the only supplier of a commodity or service within any particular sector of the economy, giving them significant market power and the ability to charge higher prices. By taking this economics course you will learn about the characteristics of a monopoly and when they might occur. You will also understand the economic and financial implications of a business having a monopoly in a particular commodity or service sector.

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