Joan Robinson, 1903–83 and Edward Chamberlin, 1899–1967: Theory of the Firm

  • Gianni Vaggi
  • Peter Groenewegen


The dilemma posed for competition and increasing returns could in principle be solved by Sraffa’s suggestion that a theory of price determination was more appropriately situated in a world of monopolies than in one of pure competition (see Chapter 28, above). Sraffa’s suggestion was taken up by Joan Robinson in her Imperfect Competition. Alternatively, it was possible to merge aspects of monopoly and competition in the manner of Marshall, concentrating on selling and marketing costs so essential when a firm faces a downward sloping demand curve, and hence arrive at a world of monopolistic competition. This was the rather different approach taken by Chamberlin at Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Marginal Cost Demand Curve Average Cost Cost Curve Price Determination 
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Notes for further reading

  1. Joan Robinson, The Economics of Imperfect Competition (Macmillan — now Palgrave Macmillan, London, 1933)Google Scholar
  2. Edward Chamberlin, The Theory of Monopolistic Competition (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1933, eighth edition 1962, introduction, chs V–VII, Appendix H).Google Scholar
  3. Rober Triffin, Monopolistic Competition and General Equilibrium Theory (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1942, pp. 19–48)Google Scholar
  4. G.L. Shackle, The Years of High Theory (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1967, chs 4–5)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gianni Vaggi and Peter Groenewegen 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianni Vaggi
    • 1
  • Peter Groenewegen
    • 2
  1. 1.University of PaviaItaly
  2. 2.University of SydneyAustralia

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