The Economics of Industries and Firms by Malcolm Sawyer

By Malcolm Sawyer

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Medium to high entry barriers and ability of largest firms to control prices; (iv) Effectively Competitive: Four-firm concentration ratio below 40 per cent. with unstable market shares, flexible prices and low entry barriers. 34 INDUSTRIAL CONCENTRATION 11. Adams (1980) provides examples of the differences between seller concentration and producer concentration in the market for passenger cars for each of ten countries. For example. in the UK for 1977, the largest four car firms accounted for 67 per cent of sales but 99 per cent of domestic production.

Much discussion on economies of scale, including that in Chapter 4 below, is concerned with how unit costs change as the size of factory changes. e. factory) is defined in terms of the scale of output after which unit costs fall, at most, only slightly. 1, large firms typically operate a number of plants, so that if concentration is to be explicable in terms of economies of scale then one would have to look to economies arising from multi-plant operation and/or from increasing firm size. Examples of firm-level economies would include economies of scale in raising finance and in marketing.

Shepherd (1982) classifies American industries into the four groups of pure monopoly, dominant firm, tight oligopoly, and effectively competitive. He calculates that industries in the last named group accounted for 52 per cent of national income in 1939, rising to 56 per cent in 1958 and to 77 per cent in 1980. g. 10 The share of the largest 100 firms in manufacturing net output is now considerably below the corresponding figure for Britain. 8 Sources: (i) Calculated from Census of Retail Distribution; (ii) Hughes and Kumar (1984a, b).

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