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X-INEFFICIENCY

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Definition:
In The Wealth of Nations published in 1776, Adam Smith observed that "Monopoly... is a great enemy to good management." This insight explicitly recognized that the problem of monopoly is not only one of price but also one of costs.

While monopoly may provide the basis for extracting higher prices from customers, the lack of competitive stimulus may raise the costs of producing the goods and services it sells. The lack of incentives or competitive pressures may lead monopolistic firms to neglect minimizing unit costs of production, i.e., to tolerate "X-inefficiency" (phrase coined by H. Leibenstein). Included in X- inefficiency are wasteful expenditures such as maintenance of excess capacity, luxurious executive benefits, political lobbying seeking protection and favourable regulations, and litigation.

Source Publication:
Glossary of Industrial Organisation Economics and Competition Law, compiled by R. S. Khemani and D. M. Shapiro, commissioned by the Directorate for Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, 1993.

Hyperlink:
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/8/61/2376087.pdf

Statistical Theme: Financial statistics

Created on Thursday, January 3, 2002

Last updated on Monday, March 17, 2003