The purpose of this article is to begin writing the history of the concept of natural monopoly.In economics natural monopoly is described as a situation in which,for structural reasons,only one firm finds it profitable to produce in the market.The following features which go to make up the notion of natural monopoly are identified:1.the expression itself;2.the singling out of concrete situations to which it is applied;3.the inquiry into economies of scale;4.the consideration of their compatibility with competition;5.the drawing of the diagram;6.the request for Government intervention. In this paper each of the above features is separately examined from a historical perspective,highlighting the originality of economic theories in that specific respect,as well as their historical influence.

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History of economics; Natural monopoly; Cost curves; Competition

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