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Thought for Thursday

March 27th, 2003

My AFR piece today subscription required is about oligopolies (industries with a few dominant firms) and why they can be such a pain to deal with. It was prompted by a particularly painful experience with one of the major banks, and begins

Although the two airlines policy was the subject of many analytical studies, it was perhaps best summed up by a cartoon that ran in the 1980s (as I recall it was by Pryor in the Canberra Times). An employee of one of the duopolists, dealing with an irate customer, is on the phone to his opposite number at the ‘competing’ airline, saying: ‘Bloke here says he’s going to take his business elsewhere – you take care of him will you, Macca?’.
In the language of academic political theory, the irate customer was trying to exercise both ‘voice’ and ‘exit’ and failing in both endeavours.

It’s a real longshot, but if any readers remember the cartoon and can point me to the original, I’d be very grateful.

Update Loads of fun in the comments section, especially for those with an ANU connection.

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