This paper presents a model and some highly tentative empirical estimates of the
social costs of monopoly and monopoly-inducing regulation in the United States. Unlike
the previous studies, it assumes that competition to obtain a monopoly results in
the transformation of expected monopoly profits into social costs. A major conclusion
is that public regulation is probably a larger source of social costs than private
monopoly. The implications of the analysis for several public policy issues, such
as appropriate policy toward mergers and price discrimination, are also discussed.
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