Vertical monopoly and calculation problem


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Ostatnio napisalem (po angielsku), krotki fragment dotyczacy pionowego monopolu i problemu kalkulacji w takim monopolu. Glownie korzystalem z pracy Rothbarda - "Man Economy, and State", jednak staralem sie go uproscic. Niestety nie jestem pewien czy wszystko dobrze zrozumialem. Czy ktos kto dobrze rozumie ten problem moglby na to zerknac i powiedziec mi czy wszystko sie tu zgadza? Z gory dzieki za pomoc.

1. The most important problem is the problem of the economic calculation. Under one owner for the whole productive system, there is no possible way of calculation at all, and therefore there’s a complete economic chaos.

2. To understand this problem let’s imagine a company that integrated 2 stages of production: stage 1 – production of steel and stage 2 – production of cars. To correctly calculate profits and losses, the company has to assume that it buys from itself the steel to produce cars from it. Itcalculates the income for each separate division of its enterpriseand allocates resources according to the profit or lossmade in each division. The company can make such an internal calculationonly because it can refer to an existing market price forthe steel (it means the company can check the price of steel in the market). Let’s imagine that the generalrate of interest in the economy is 5%. Let’s imagine the company buys iron, land, and labour for $100, produces steel in the 1st stage, produces cars in the 2nd stage and then sells the cars, and gains an income of $140. To produce cars from steel, the company has to spend $15 on land and labour.

To calculate profitability in every stage, the company checks that the price of the steel in the market is $103.

So the first stage bought iron, labour and land for $100 and “sold” them to the second stage of the production at $103. So it made a 3% return. The second stage bought steel, land, and labourat $118 ($103+$15) and produced cars that were sold at $140. So it made a 29% return.

As we said the general rate of interest in that economy is 5%. It means that the 1st stage of production in fact suffered a loss of 2% (5%-3%=2%), while second gained a profit of 24% (29%-5%=24%). Knowing this, the company will shift resources from the production of steel to the production of cars based on their profitabilities. Perhaps it will completely stop producing steel. Then it will buy steel from other companies and concentrate its resources on the production of cars.

Without the steel market, this company wouldn’t be able to calculate whether it uses its resources in the most efficient way. Without this market it would waste resources on the less profitable stage of production. That’s why in a market economy a vertical monopoly is not possible because it would be inefficient and lead to a calculation chaos.

Of course the more stages of production are monopolized, the bigger problems occur. If all the industries belonged to one company or one government, the economy would have to collapse because it wouldn’t be possible to establish any reasonable pricing systems.

Oryginal, z ktorego korzystalem:, Economy, and State, with Power and Market_2.pdf, strony: 609 - 613, rozdzial


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