Monopoly (Online Lesson)
- A-Level, IB
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC
Last updated 23 Jun 2020
In this online lesson, we explore the topic of monopoly in detail, covering diagrams, application, and key evaluation points.
WHAT YOU'LL STUDY IN THIS ONLINE LESSON
- the characteristics of monopoly
- real-world examples of monopoly
- monopoly diagrams
- the economic case for and against monopoly
- natural monopoly
Additional teacher guidance is available at the end of this lesson. Thank you to Nicky King and Jon Clark for their contributions to this lesson.
HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE LESSON
Follow along in order of the activities shown below. Some are interactive game-based activities, designed to test your understanding and application of monopoly. Others are based on short videos, including activities for you to think about and try at home, as well as some extra worksheet-based activities.
If you would like to download a simple PDF worksheet to accompany the video activities, you can find it here. You can print it off and annotate it for your own notes, or make your own notes on a separate piece of paper to add to your school/college file.
ACTIVITY 1: VIDEO - MONOPOLY POWER
In this video, we look at the meaning of monopoly power and consider the impact of market share. We also introduce lots of real-world examples to improve your knowledge.
ACTIVITY 2: VIDEO - MONOPOLY DIAGRAM
Diagrammatic analysis is a fundamental part of economic analysis. In this video, we help you build up a cost and revenue diagram for analysing monopoly.
ACTIVITY 3: WIDER READING
Here are some suggestions for wider reading on the topic of monopoly, with a particular focus on examples. When you read through the suggested articles, note down any advantages and disadvantages of monopoly and monopoly power. Remember to consider the advantages and disadvantages from different stakeholder perspectives.
- This article from the February 29th 2020 edition of The Economist looks at the monopoly power of the world's largest computer chip maker
- This summary from US media company CNN looks at the debates over monopoly power that are featuring in the 2020 US Presidential election campaigns; you could also read this article from the New York Times on the same issue
- This article from The Economist considers the likelihood of monopolies developing in the market for driverless cars
- This overview of "Superstar Firms" from the tutor2u blog
ACTIVITY 4: VIDEO - PROS AND CONS OF MONOPOLY
In this video, we consider some of the arguments both for and against monopoly power, from theoretical and practical perspectives.
ACTIVITY 5: ESSAY TECHNIQUE
For this activity, you will need to download this example essay. The essay explores some of the reasons why and how monopoly power might develop.
- Read through the essay
- Identify any "connecting" words that help to extend the chains of analysis
- Summarise the reasons for developing monopoly power that are mentioned in the essay, then carry out your own research and thinking to add to the list
ACTIVITY 6: VIDEO - NATURAL MONOPOLY
In this final video of the online lesson, we consider a special type of monopoly - the natural monopoly - in which economies of scale are extensive.
ACTIVITY 7 - MULTIPLE CHOICE PRACTICE
Download this worksheet containing 20 monopoly-related MCQs for you to practise on.
ADDITIONAL TEACHER GUIDANCE
This lesson comprises:
- around 35 minutes of guided video, spread across 4 videos
- around 20-30 minutes of student thinking and activity time throughout those videos
- a wider reading activity to support student knowledge of real-world examples
- an example essay, accompanied by a range of questions for students to consider
- a 20 question MCQ test (answers here)