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The Economics Book by

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RG

IN CONTEXT

FOCUS

Markets and firms

KEY THINKER

Adam Smith (1723–90)

BEFORE

1290s Wenceslas II, Duke of Bohemia, introduces laws to prevent metal ore traders from colluding to raise prices.

1590s Traders from the Netherlands collaborate in a cartel with a monopoly of the spice trade in the East Indies.

AFTER

1838 French economist Augustin Cournot describes competition in oligopolies.

1890 The first antitrust law is passed in the US.

1964 US economist George Stigler publishes A Theory of Oligopoly, examining the problems of maintaining successful cartels.

Competition is key to the efficient working of free markets. The presence of several producers in a market ...

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