Definition of oligopsony in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɒlɪˈɡɒps(ə)ni/

noun (plural oligopsonies)

A state of the market in which only a small number of buyers exists for a product.
Example sentences
  • Economists refer to this as an oligopsony: a market with few buyers.
  • An oligopsony is a market in which there are many sellers, but few buyers.
  • Using modern terms, in labor markets oligopsony or monopsony emerges, and market imperfections and a zero reservation price for labor exist.



Example sentences
  • Three market observations indicate the possible existence of oligopsonistic elements in the ONP market: the existence of barriers to entry; relatively few buyers and many sellers; and historically large price variations.
  • The farm sector is not receiving that money because of the oligopsonistic [buyer shared monopoly] meat packers, and the oligopsonistic retailers have positioned themselves to capture the bulk of that profit.
  • The oligopsonistic behavior of ONP buyers led to greater price distortions in all four regions.


1940s: from oligo- 'small number' + Greek opsōnein 'buy provisions', on the pattern of monopsony.

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