Oligopsony

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An oligopsony (from Greek ὀλίγοι (oligoi) "few" and ὀψωνία (opsōnia) "purchase") is a market form in which the number of buyers is small while the number of sellers in theory could be large. This typically happens in a market for inputs where numerous suppliers are competing to sell their product to a small number of (often large and powerful) buyers. It contrasts with an oligopoly, where there are many buyers but few sellers. An oligopsony is a form of imperfect competition.

Contents

The terms monopoly (one seller), monopsony (one buyer), and bilateral monopoly have a similar relationship.

onefew
sellers monopoly oligopoly
buyers monopsony oligopsony

Industry examples

In each of these cases, the buyers have a major advantage over the sellers. They can play off one supplier against another, thus lowering their costs. They can also dictate exact specifications to suppliers, for delivery schedules, quality, and (in the case of agricultural products) crop varieties. They also pass off much of the risks of overproduction, natural losses, and variations in cyclical demand to the suppliers.[ citation needed ]

Agriculture

One example of an oligopsony in the world economy is cocoa, where three firms (Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, and Barry Callebaut) buy the vast majority of world cocoa bean production, mostly from small farmers in third-world countries. Likewise, American tobacco growers face an oligopsony of cigarette makers, where three companies (Altria, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard Tobacco Company) buy almost 90% of all tobacco grown in the US and other countries.[ citation needed ]

Publishing

In U.S. publishing, five publishers known as the Big Five account for about two-thirds of books published. [1] Each of these companies runs a series of specialized imprints catering to different market segments and often carrying the name of formerly independent publishers. Imprints create the illusion that there are many publishers, but imprints within each publisher coordinate so as not to compete with one another when seeking to acquire new books from authors.[ citation needed ]

Thus authors have fewer truly independent outlets for their work. This simultaneously depresses advances paid to authors and creates pressure for authors to cater to the tastes of the publishers in order to ensure publication, reducing viewpoint diversity. [ citation needed ]

Retail

Over at least 30 years, supermarkets in developed economies around the world[ which? ] have acquired an increasing share of grocery markets. In doing so, they have increased their influence over suppliers—what food is grown and how it is processed and packaged—with impacts reaching deep into the lives and livelihoods of farmers and workers worldwide. [2] In addition to increasing their market share with consumers, consolidation of suppliers means that retailers can exercise significant market power. In some countries, this has led to allegations of abuse, unethical and illegal conduct. [3]

The situation in Australia is a good example, with two retailers, Coles and Woolworths controlling 70% of the national food market. [4]

Related Research Articles

A monopoly is as described by Irving Fischer, a market with the "absence of competition", creating a situation where a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular thing. This contrasts with a monopsony which relates to a single entity's control of a market to purchase a good or service, and with oligopoly and duopoly which consists of a few sellers dominating a market. Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service, a lack of viable substitute goods, and the possibility of a high monopoly price well above the seller's marginal cost that leads to a high monopoly profit. The verb monopolise or monopolize refers to the process by which a company gains the ability to raise prices or exclude competitors. In economics, a monopoly is a single seller. In law, a monopoly is a business entity that has significant market power, that is, the power to charge overly high prices, which is associated with a decrease in social surplus. Although monopolies may be big businesses, size is not a characteristic of a monopoly. A small business may still have the power to raise prices in a small industry.

Deadweight loss Measure of lost economic efficiency

Deadweight loss, also known as excess burden, is a measure of lost economic efficiency when the socially optimal quantity of a good or a service is not produced. Non-optimal production can be caused by highly concentrated wealth and income, monopoly pricing in the case of artificial scarcity, a positive or negative externality, a tax or subsidy, or a binding price ceiling or price floor such as a minimum wage.

Fair trade Sustainable and equitable trade

Fair trade is an arrangement designed to help producers in growing countries achieve sustainable and equitable trade relationships. Members of the fair trade movement add the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards. The movement focuses in particular on commodities, or products that are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries, but is also used in domestic markets, most notably for handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, wine, sugar, fruit, flowers, and gold.

Price fixing Agreement over prices between participants on the same side in a market

Price fixing is an anticompetitive agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand.

Vertical integration When a company owns its supply chain

In microeconomics, management, and international political economy, vertical integration is an arrangement in which the supply chain of a company is integrated and owned by that company. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a different product or (market-specific) service, and the products combine to satisfy a common need. It is contrasted with horizontal integration, wherein a company produces several items that are related to one another. Vertical integration has also described management styles that bring large portions of the supply chain not only under a common ownership but also into one corporation.

Grocery store Retail store that primarily sells food and other household supplies

A grocery store, grocery or grocery shop (UK) is a store that primarily retails a general range of food products, which may be fresh or packaged. In everyday U.S. usage, however, "grocery store" is a synonym for supermarket, and is not used to refer to other types of stores that sell groceries. In the UK, shops that sell food are distinguished as grocers or grocery shops, though in everyday use, people usually use either the term "supermarket" or, for a smaller type of store that sells groceries, a "corner shop" or "convenience shop".

Disintermediation

Disintermediation is the removal of intermediaries in economics from a supply chain, or "cutting out the middlemen" in connection with a transaction or a series of transactions. Instead of going through traditional distribution channels, which had some type of intermediary, companies may now deal with customers directly, for example via the Internet.

In theories of competition in economics, a barrier to entry, or an economic barrier to entry, is a fixed cost that must be incurred by a new entrant, regardless of production or sales activities, into a market that incumbents do not have or have not had to incur. Because barriers to entry protect incumbent firms and restrict competition in a market, they can contribute to distortionary prices and are therefore most important when discussing antitrust policy. Barriers to entry often cause or aid the existence of monopolies and oligopolies, or give companies market power.

In Economics and Law, exclusive dealing arises when a supplier entails the buyer by placing limitations on the rights of the buyer to choose what, who and where they deal. This is against the law in most countries which include the USA, Australia and Europe when it has a significant impact of substantially lessening the competition in an industry. When the sales outlets are owned by the supplier, exclusive dealing is because of vertical integration, where the outlets are independent exclusive dealing is illegal due to the Restrictive Trade Practices Act, however, if it is registered and approved it is allowed.While primarily those agreements imposed by sellers are concerned with the comprehensive literature on exclusive dealing, some exclusive dealing arrangements are imposed by buyers instead of sellers

Business-to-business Commercial transaction between businesses

Business-to-business is a situation where one business makes a commercial transaction with another. This typically occurs when:

Market structure

Market structure, in economics, depicts how firms are differentiated and categorised based on the types of goods they sell (homogeneous/heterogeneous) and how their operations are affected by external factors and elements. Market structure makes it easier to understand the characteristics of diverse markets.

Pricing strategies Approach to selling a product or service

A business can use a variety of pricing strategies when selling a product or service. To determine the most effective pricing strategy for a company, senior executives need to first identify the company's pricing position, pricing segment, pricing capability and their competitive pricing reaction strategy. Pricing strategies and tactics vary from company to company, and also differ across countries, cultures, industries and over time, with the maturing of industries and markets and changes in wider economic conditions.

Market (economics) System in which parties engage in transactions according to supply and demand

A market is a composition of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations or infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services to buyers in exchange for money. It can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. Markets facilitate trade and enable the distribution and resource allocation in a society. Markets allow any trade-able item to be evaluated and priced. A market emerges more or less spontaneously or may be constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights of services and goods. Markets generally supplant gift economies and are often held in place through rules and customs, such as a booth fee, competitive pricing, and source of goods for sale.

Competition (economics) Rivalry between firms; ability of companies to take each others market share in a given market

In economics, competition is a scenario where different economic firms are in contention to obtain goods that are limited by varying the elements of the marketing mix: price, product, promotion and place. In classical economic thought, competition causes commercial firms to develop new products, services and technologies, which would give consumers greater selection and better products. The greater the selection of a good is in the market, prices are typically lower for the products, compared to what the price would be if there was no competition (monopoly) or little competition (oligopoly). According to Antoine Augustin Cournot, the definition of competition is the situation in which price does not vary with quantity, or in which the demand curve facing the firm is horizontal. The level of competition that exists within the market is dependent on a variety of factors both on the firm/ seller side; the number of firms, barriers to entry, information, and availability/ accessibility of resources. The number of buyers within the market also factors into competition with each buyer having a willingness to pay, influencing overall demand for the product in the market.

Retail marketing

Once the strategic plan is in place, retail managers turn to the more managerial aspects of planning. A retail mix is devised for the purpose of coordinating day-to-day tactical decisions. The retail marketing mix typically consists of six broad decision layers including product decisions, place decisions, promotion, price, personnel and presentation. The retail mix is loosely based on the marketing mix, but has been expanded and modified in line with the unique needs of the retail context. A number of scholars have argued for an expanded marketing, mix with the inclusion of two new Ps, namely, Personnel and Presentation since these contribute to the customer's unique retail experience and are the principal basis for retail differentiation. Yet other scholars argue that the Retail Format should be included. The modified retail marketing mix that is most commonly cited in textbooks is often called the 6 Ps of retailing.

A two-sided market, also called a two-sided network, is an intermediary economic platform having two distinct user groups that provide each other with network benefits. The organization that creates value primarily by enabling direct interactions between two distinct types of affiliated customers is called a multi-sided platform. This concept of two-sided markets has been mainly theorised by the French economists Jean Tirole and Jean-Charles Rochet and Americans Geoffrey G Parker and Marshall Van Alstyne.

Retailing in India Overview of retailing in India

Retailing in India is one of the pillars of its economy and accounts for about 10 percent of its GDP. The Indian retail market is estimated to be US$ 600 billion and one of the top five retail markets in the world by economic value. India is one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world, with 1.2 billion people.

Agriculture in Ghana

Agriculture in Ghana consists of a variety of agricultural products and is an established economic sector, providing employment on a formal and informal basis. Ghana produces a variety of crops in various climatic zones which range from dry savanna to wet forest which run in east-west bands across Ghana. Agricultural crops, including yams, grains, cocoa, oil palms, kola nuts, and timber, form the base of agriculture in Ghana's economy. In 2013 agriculture employed 53.6% of the total labor force in Ghana.

In economics, a monopsony is a market structure in which a single buyer substantially controls the market as the major purchaser of goods and services offered by many would-be sellers. The microeconomic theory of monopsony assumes a single entity to have market power over all sellers as the only purchaser of a good or service. This is a similar power to that of a monopolist, which can influence the price for its buyers in a monopoly, where multiple buyers have only one seller of a good or service available to purchase from.

Reverse auction

A reverse auction is a type of auction in which the traditional roles of buyer and seller are reversed. Thus, there is one buyer and many potential sellers. In an ordinary auction also known as a forward auction, buyers compete to obtain goods or services by offering increasingly higher prices. In contrast, in a reverse auction, the sellers compete to obtain business from the buyer and prices will typically decrease as the sellers underbid each other.

References

  1. Kachka, Boris (2013-07-09). "Book Publishing's Big Gamble". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  2. Consumers International. "The relationship between supermarkets and suppliers" . Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  3. Background Briefing. "Casualties in the supermarket war". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  4. Consumers International. "The relationship between supermarkets and suppliers" . Retrieved 11 June 2013.