Monopsony is also known within the field of economics as the buyer's monopoly. The word is derived from the Greek word mono, which means unique, and psoniums which means purchase. This is a type of market in which we can see a single buyer and not a large number of them. This is one of the reasons that makes this type of monopoly imperfect and full of problems.

What is monopsony?

Monopsony is a structure within the market in which there is a single plaintiff or a single buyer, contrary to the bidders, as there may be one or several of them. Therefore, this type of market is considered imperfect competition. It does not have a great balance and therefore lacks perfection.

It is the plaintiff who is responsible all the time for setting the prices for the goods or services that are offered because he is the one who has the power within the market, and the bidders are forced to adapt to the demands that he presents. Because of this, the buyer manages to have a greater value in the transactions he carries out. Monopsony is a condition within the market where the absolute demand for a product is exercised then, by a single buyer. It usually occurs when there are some production factors that demand certain type of specialized work, or with raw materials and goods in process.

Characteristics of monopsony

Advantages of monopsony

Disadvantages of monopsony


An example of monopsony can be found in Japan. Manufacturers of car seats have a small number of buyers, there are very few Japanese car assembly companies, so they can control quantities and prices of car seats, as they are the only buyers in the country of this product.

In Northwest Europe, it can be observed that food can only be obtained by 4 or 5 large supermarkets chains. In all the countries throughout Europe, the common thing is to observe big chains that sell products of basic basket, extending their branches towards electronic products, clothes, medicines, books and toys among others.

Many companies in China, with thousands of employees, work hard to keep the shelves full of products in big chains like Walmart.

In Sweden, for example, minority producers have had to sell their products through a larger chain of supermarkets in order to distribute them, considering that supermarkets can buy their goods anywhere in the world.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Monopsony. Recovered on 24 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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