Is there a good undergraduate level book specifically about economic monopolies and market failures?

  • $\begingroup$ History or theory? $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 11:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A standard reference, not undergrad though: Tirole, Industrial Organization $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 12:27

3 Answers 3


Your question is quite broad in the sense that various forms of market failure cover a significant portion of all of microeconomics. I presume you have already looked in a general undergraduate micro book such as Varian's Intermediate Microeconmics, which provides coverage of many of these topics.

More detailed coverage of market power and monopoly can be found in Church and Ware's Industrial Organization: A Strategic Approach. Discussion of market failures caused by public goods and externalities can be found in Hindriks and Myles' Intermediate Public Economics. For market failoures originating in information asymmetries, a good source might be Bolton and Dewatripont's Contract Theory.


For advanced undergraduate students there is a nice, instructive and short book on The Microeconomics of Market Failures at MIT Press (2000) by Bernard Salanié from Columbia.

The second revision of Introduction to Industrial Organization by Luis Cabral from NYU is a very good reference for undergraduates. The chapter 5 deals with Market Failure and Public Policy. Accompanying slides are available.


"The Economics of Imperfect Competition" by Joan Robinson is a very old book, but one of the first to look specifically at market power. (By old, I mean like 1930s old). For something a little newer, you could try taking a look at some price theory books, like "Price Theory and Its Uses" by Watson and Getz.


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