monopsony

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From mon- +‎ Ancient Greek ὀψωνέω (opsōnéō, buy products) +‎ -y.

Coined by classics scholar Bertrand Hallward of Peterhouse College, Cambridge, popularized by economist Joan Robinson in her 1933 book, The Economics of Imperfect Competition.

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Noun[edit]

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monopsony (plural monopsonies)

  1. A market situation in which there is only one buyer for a product; such a buyer.
    • 1933, Joan Robinson, The Economics of Imperfect Competition, page 219:
      This may be described as the comparison between competitive and monopsony buying, just as the corresponding comparison for selling was called the comparison between competitive and monopoly output.
  2. A buyer with disproportionate power.
    • 2014 March 15, “Turn it off”, The Economist, volume 410, number 8878: 
      If the takeover is approved, Comcast would control 20 of the top 25 cable markets, […]. Antitrust officials will need to consider Comcast’s status as a monopsony (a buyer with disproportionate power), when it comes to negotiations with programmers, whose channels it pays to carry.

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