top of page

A level and O level ECONOMICS 

Access 400+ Economics Essays With the Economics Study Pack 
(Free previews below!)

What if you could score the highest grades possible on your economics essays? Subscribe and get access to a collection of high-quality A+ economics essays.

  • Well structured

  • Simple and clear english

  • Diagrams included where relevant

  • For A level, AS level, GCSEs and O level.

Market Failure in the Oil Industry

Explain how market failure might occur in the oil industry.


Externalities and Market Failure

Frequently asked question



Include both theoretical and empirical evidence in your essay.

🍃Introduction: Market failure occurs when the allocation of resources in a market economy leads to an inefficient outcome, resulting in a suboptimal allocation of goods and services. In the context of the oil industry, market failure can occur due to various factors that lead to over-consumption, external costs, and monopoly power. This essay will examine how market failure manifests in the oil industry, specifically focusing on over-consumption driven by external costs and instances of monopoly power.

Over-consumption and External Costs: One form of market failure in the oil industry arises from over-consumption or over-production of oil, which occurs when the market mechanism fails to account for external costs. External costs refer to the negative effects imposed on society that are not reflected in the price of the product. In the case of the oil industry, external costs include pollution, environmental degradation, and global warming.

The extraction, production, and consumption of oil generate significant environmental costs, such as air pollution, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. These costs impose harm on the environment, human health, and future generations. However, the market price of oil does not capture these external costs, leading to an over-consumption of oil as individuals and firms do not bear the full social cost associated with its production and use. Consequently, the market fails to allocate resources efficiently, resulting in an excessive reliance on oil without fully considering its detrimental environmental impacts.
Monopoly Power: Another source of market failure in the oil industry can stem from the presence of monopoly power. In certain cases, a small number of oil companies or even a single dominant firm may possess significant market power, enabling them to restrict output and manipulate prices. This restriction of output can lead to higher prices for oil and related products, thereby reducing consumer welfare and economic efficiency.

Monopoly power in the oil industry may arise due to factors such as control over critical infrastructure, access to scarce resources, or barriers to entry. The exercise of market power by a dominant firm reduces competition, limiting consumer choice and potentially distorting resource allocation. The resulting higher prices for oil may lead to an inefficient allocation of resources, as consumers are forced to bear the burden of higher costs, potentially inhibiting economic growth and development.

👉Conclusion: Market failure in the oil industry can occur through over-consumption driven by the failure to account for external costs and the presence of monopoly power. The environmental costs associated with oil production and consumption, such as pollution and global warming, are not fully reflected in market prices, leading to over-consumption and an inefficient allocation of resources. Additionally, monopoly power in the industry can result in restricted output and higher prices, limiting competition and distorting resource allocation. Addressing these market failures requires appropriate policy interventions, such as implementing environmental regulations and fostering competition, to promote a more efficient and sustainable oil industry.


I. 🍃Introduction
A. Definition of market failure
B. Importance of addressing market failure in economics
C. Thesis statement

II. Over-consumption and over-production of oil
A. Explanation of the problem
B. External costs associated with oil production and consumption
C. Examples of market failure in the oil industry
D. Consequences of market failure in the oil industry

III. Monopoly power and market failure
A. Definition of monopoly power
B. How monopoly power leads to market failure
C. Examples of market failure due to monopoly power
D. Consequences of market failure due to monopoly power

IV. Government intervention to address market failure
A. Types of government intervention
B. Advantages and disadvantages of government intervention
C. Examples of successful government intervention to address market failure
D. Criticisms of government intervention

V. 👉Conclusion
A. Recap of main points
B. Implications of market failure for the economy and society
C. Call to action for addressing market failure
D. Final thoughts.


Market failure is when there is an inefficient allocation of resources -. There is over-consumption / over-production of oil - because the external costs - are ignored by the market mechanism -, such as pollution / global warming / harm to the environment -. There are cases of monopoly power - restricting output - pushing up price -.




Halftone Image of a Hand

The above material is protected and is not to be copied.

bottom of page