chapter  7
15 Pages

CRITERIA, CHARACTERISTICS AND BASES OF MONOPOLY

Part 3 of this study1 reviews certain factors in the degree of concentration in West African trade, in the emergence of monopoly and oligopoly, and in the limitations on the exercise of monopoly and oligopoly power. These matters bear on both branches of external trade. But they are discussed here immediately after the import trade, and in the general context of that trade, because the export trade is dominated by the statutory marketing boards. The monopoly power of these organizations is of a different order from that of even the largest private firm or concerted group of firms in West Africa, because they are the only buyers in their respective fields (which together cover almost all agricultural exports) and the barriers to new entry are erected by statute. For this reason, as well as for the quantitative importance of the statutory monopolies, the marketing boards are discussed separately in Part 5.