Monopolies by individuals, trading companies, or by secret arrangements between groups of suppliers are by far the biggest interference in market prices. Themes on the iniquities of monopoly recur all through Wealth of Nations. Monopolies were anti-competitive and, therefore, targets for Smith’s ire. He seldom let up on them, but he made certain significant exceptions on pragmatic grounds, compromising his commitment to free competition in favour of the important practical political advantages they created in the real world (the Navigation Acts for example). These are interesting examples of Smith’s breaches of laissez faire prescriptions.
KeywordsMonopoly Price Trading Company Free Competition Significant Exception Pragmatic Ground
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