Note that Northern Pacific was brought to court for “unreasonable restraints of trade”. One last important note is the difference between a monopoly and a monopolistic market. A monopoly occurs when only one seller exists, whereas a monopolistic market occurs when one primary seller exists but others may still compete.

  1. For small holders such as farmers or gig workers, some form of collectivization, whether as unions or some other form of organization, could play a role in controlling supply and raising producer incomes.
  2. The only difference between a monopsony and monopoly is the entity controlling the situation.
  3. Collusion among oligopsonies is often a feature of their market behaviour.
  4. We should note that monopsony power is not uniform across all types of production.

About half signed new contracts with their old teams while the other half signed with new teams. Table 14.1 “The Impact of Free Agency” illustrates the impact of free agency in four professional sports. A firm can set price in a factor market if, instead of a market-determined price, it faces an upward-sloping supply curve for the factor.

Firms with a monopsony have the power to dictate prices they pay for goods and services. As there are many sellers, the firm can easily go elsewhere, but at the same time, the sellers are reliant monopsony examples in india on the single firm’s business. So, without the monopsony firm, they would not have a business themselves. A monopsony is where there is a sole buyer of a product, with many sellers.


What this discussion points to is that there is scope for exploring monopsony as an explanation of the gender wage gap and other gender differences in employment. Monopsonist firms clearly decide to pay lower wages to women, utilizing the vulnerabilities of women in employment. One aspect of these vulnerabilities is the extraction of unpaid care work from women.

Pricing in a monopolistic market involves a balance between the firm’s desire to maximize profits and the impact of consumer choices. While the dominant firm has some control over pricing, it must also consider the potential reactions of consumers to changes in price. Because there may still be some small degree of competition, the firm must be mindful as it does not have complete control. Utilities, for example, maintain extensive infrastructures in order to provide essential services that must be reliably available to all consumers within their business areas. A competitor would not be permitted to tap into the water company’s dam or the electricity company’s grid.

Example of Technology Monopoly

It characterizes contemporary capitalism as monopsony capitalism, as against the earlier characterization of monopoly capitalism. It shows how monopsony operates with regard to input producers, including small producers and capitalism firms, and also workers. It discusses the role of technological changes and the formation of a global labour force in the creation of global monopsony capitalism. It identifies degrees of monopsony power, their bases and investigates some of the dynamics of change in monopsony power. Monopsony power may also exist in markets for factors other than labor.

These examples support the assumption that manufacturing complexity and their IP or reputational asset status would be inversely related to monopsony power. The base of monopsony power is that of the inelastic supply curve of suppliers in relation to price, based largely on the difficulty of switching to other equally remunerative value chains. The platforms are increasing their monopsony power as buyers of products as they increase their monopoly role as sellers of products. With the growing importance of platforms to product producers, brands are becoming just part of a bouquet of products.

Geographic monopolies, on the other hand, manifest when a particular company commands control over a defined geographical area, limiting competition within that region. This dominance can stem from factors such as exclusive access to essential resources, strategic location, or historical advantages. The existence of either a monopoly or a monopsony is sometimes attributed to a lack of government regulation in the form of antitrust laws. To learn more about how monopsony affects the U.S. labor market, see the presentation slides from the March 23 congressional briefing here. For a write-up of a previous “Econ 101” briefing, on the effects of federal tax changes, see here.

Nor could the competitor realistically replicate the existing infrastructure to provide its own service. Their business operations and pricing policies may be subject to review and regulation by local and state governments. It is the opposite of a monopoly market structure, wherein the seller has full control over the market. In other words, we could also say that it is a complementary form or mirror image of monopoly.

These platforms are truly oligopsonies, on a scale not seen before—two or three buyers dealing with millions of sellers of labour services. Another type of monopsony is that of trading relations between myriad smallholder producers with traders. Even at the local level, there are inter-linked markets, where debt is given on condition of tied supply at lower-than-market prices at the time of harvest. In many cases, the traders may be large corporations working through their agents.

This provides a succinct characterization of global monopsony capitalism, where global monopsony is combined with the structures of monopoly. However, it is necessary to make a distinction between sites of value extraction and of value capture, with monopsony introduced into the scenario. Low prices of labour power, agricultural inputs and environmental services all reduce the cost of production in supplier factories. Through the operations of power in global monopsony structures, brands capture the benefits of lower input prices. Value extraction from low-priced inputs may occur in the sites of production in the Global South, but that value is captured, through the dynamics of monopsony relations, by brands in the Global North. The second method of value capture is through the purchase of inputs, whether of gendered labour, farmers’ products, or environmental services, at prices below their costs of production, as discussed in Nathan et al. (2022a).

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In India and other garment-supplying countries of Asia, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia and Pakistan, when the cash flow stopped, suppliers closed factories and laid off workers. Workers who were indirectly employed through labour contractors found that some contractors even switched off their phones and disappeared. As detailed in the AFWA report Money Heist, there was a massive wage theft—one that pushed more than 80% of garment workers in six countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) into poverty (AFWA 2021). Over the next few months, brands revived their demands and contracted new production. In March 2020, as the COVID-19-pandemic-induced recession struck many parts of the world, garment brands from the Global North took action to protect their cash reserves and share values.

What is a Monopsony?

To obtain a larger quantity, such as Q2, it must offer a higher price, P2. There are many market conditions prevailing in the economy for different kinds of goods sold depending on the number of sellers available in the market and the number of buyers willing to buy that product in the market. Monopsony is a rare market condition that is rarely found in real life. It is a market condition where there is only a single buyer for the good or product being offered for sale.

New Business Terms

The lower employment and wages caused by monopsony power have two distinct effects on the economic welfare of the people involved. The factory is the only real employer in town, it can set wages below market prices, and determine how many individuals will be employed at any time. This has a ripple effect on the rest of the community, such as the other types of businesses set up in town, the amount they can charge, and how many people they can hire.

Those who have acquired skills in the engineering sector are unlikely to be able to take their skill premium to the chemical or metallurgical industries. This would increase the opportunity cost of switching, making the supply of labour somewhat inelastic with regard to wages in the sector where they have worked. The reserve army of labour is then not a general reserve army, but one specific to a sector or segment of work. As pointed out earlier, this skill-specific reserve army is created by oligopsonies.

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