The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Edwin G. West
Reference work entry


Irving Fisher (1923), once defined monopoly simply as an ‘absence of competition’. From this point of view various attitudes to, or criticisms of, monopoly are connected with the particular vision of competition that each writer has in mind. To the neoclassical economist monopoly is the polar opposite to the now familiar ‘perfect competition’ of the textbooks. Modern writers in the classical tradition, on the other hand, complain that perfect competition neglects the process of competitive activity, overlooks the importance of time to competitive processes and assumes away transaction or information costs.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin G. West
    • 1
  1. 1.