گوشه ها و رقابت اقتصادی: پیامدهایی برای بهره وری اقتصادی، رشد و تنوع
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21357||2004||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8160 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2004, Pages 119–135
This article examines the relationship between market niches and economic competition and explores the consequences of niches for economic efficiency, growth and diversity of commodities. Concepts of a niche in everyday use, ecology, economics and business management are compared. Factors giving rise to market niches, some of which are institutional, are identified, and their links with barriers to entry and mobility are discussed. Common negative views about their consequences for competition and economic efficiency are outlined. However, the availability of niches can potentially have a very positive impact on economic growth and development as well as on the diversity of commodities. New measures of global diversity of commodities are introduced. Economic globalisation involves institutional change that reduces the availability of niches and threatens long-term economic growth and diversity of commodities. Niches also provide frictions in economic systems and may have stabilising properties.
Concepts of niches in relation to market competition and development are used more in the business management literature than in the economic literature. However, niche concepts are basic to much ecology and are widely applied to the analysis of competition between species (inter-specific competition) and less frequently to intra-specific competition (Begon and Mortimer, 1986). Mainly niche concepts are applied in economics to market competition and the development of markets. In contrast to ecology, they are most widely applied in economics to competition between firms and businesses in the same industry, but sometimes they are also applied to competition between some industries or segments of industries. Ecologists give greater attention to the availability of niches and their exploitation as a factor in biological evolution and biodiversity compared with the attention given by economists and specialists in business management to the role of market niches in economic growth, development and the diversity of available commodities. However, the creation of market niches via product differentiation is considered by von Mises as one of the most important means of competition, and thereby, of economic development (von Mises, 1961). This view is also apparent in the works of Schumpeter (1954). Nevertheless, while product differentiation can be important in the competitive market process in creating market niches that give economic power and above-normal profit to their incumbents, they are not sufficient for these latter purposes. This is evident from the theory of monopolistically competitive markets as developed by Chamberlin (Chamberlin, 1933). In such markets, all firms in equilibrium produce slightly differentiated products and only make normal profits because there are no significant barriers to entry. Monopolistically competitive firms are unlikely to be a powerful force for economic development given Schumpeter's point of view (Schumpeter, 1954, Chapter 8). The economic incentive to innovate depends on there being some impediments to rapid use of innovation by entities other than the innovator. Although Chamberlin (1933) does not specifically mention market niches in his theory of monopolistic competition, nor, unlike Schumpeter (1954), consider dynamic consequences of monopoly, his theory shows strong similarities with a niche-based approach. For example, intra-industry competition occurs but is moderated in the large group monopolistic competition case by businesses occupying market niches. As Chamberlin (1933), p. 81) says “… each producer within the group is a monopolist, yet his market is interwoven with those of his competitors, and he is no longer isolated from them”. While Chamberlin (1933) develops his theory of market equilibrium for competitive large groups of firms by assuming uniformity between firms and the type of sub-markets they occupy, he is at pains to point out that this is only for expositional convenience and that heterogeneity is the rule (Chamberlin, 1933, pp. 81–82). He emphasises that, in practice, the following is more usual: “… if high average profits lead new competitors to invade a general field, the markets of different established producers cannot be wrested from them with equal facility. Some will be forced to yield ground, but not by enough to reduce their profits below the minimum necessary to keep them in business. Others may be cut to the minimum, and still others may be forced to drop out because only a small demand exists or can be created for their particular variety of product. Others, protected by a strong prejudice in favour of theirs, may be virtually unaffected by an invasion of the general field—their monopoly profits are beyond the reach of competition” (Chamberlin, 1933, p. 82). These differences in business fortunes can be attributed to differences in the nature of the market niches occupied by different businesses. However, Chamberlin (1933) fails to link business heterogeneity and the fact that some firms can earn persistently above-normal profit to the rate of technical progress and industrial evolution. Several writers consider such a connection to be of considerable importance (Schumpeter, 1954, Tisdell, 1999, Laland and Odling-Smee, 2000 and Lewontin, 2000). In other words, the fact that the industrial playing field is not level may be a positive influence on technological progress and the dynamics of generating product variety. Observe that Chamberlin's analysis of monopolistic competition can provide an explanation of why global product variety may fall and local product variety may increase initially as globalisation proceeds. Globalisation is associated with falling transport and communication costs as well as reduced man-made barriers to trade. These result in greater economies of scale being available to firms producing or marketing a particular variety of products (or combinations of varieties of products) and possibly increase product substitutability. As pointed out by Beath and Katsoulakos (1991), p. 8), both these factors reduce product variety, given Chamberlin's microeconomic analysis. In retailing, for example, retailers with similar outlets in different locations (chains of stores) may be favoured, and so may be those involved in franchising products involving a uniform product or uniform combination of varieties of products, for example, some ‘fast-food’ outlets are able to spread their central overhead costs between many localities. Consequently, local varieties of products may be lost and replaced by those of business chains or franchising entities. Thus even the static theory of monopolistic competition is able to explain why economic globalisation may be associated with declining global product variety. Therefore, Chamberlin's theory can also be used to support the thesis developed here that economic globalisation (eventually) reduces global diversity. This article first discusses concepts of the niche in everyday use, in ecology, in economics and business management, and throughout this essay, ecological theories involving niches are mentioned because niche concepts have wide application in ecological analysis. This essay is further developed by investigating the ways in which economic niches arise and the relationship of market niches to market competition and economic efficiency. Then the consequences of niches for long-term economic growth and the diversity of commodities are considered. The relationship of the discussion with economic globalisation and the extension of markets is then explored.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Niche-concepts have been used less frequently in economic analysis than in ecology, and the niche concept is used in the business management literature in a narrower way than in economics or ecology. It is difficult to define an economic niche precisely but in this article it is associated with the existence of market power and barriers to entry (or mobility) of competitors or competitive commodities. Realised economic niches can play an important role in economic growth and development even though they may reduce economic efficiency in short-run resource allocation. The availability of market niches influences the diversity of commodities available. It is speculated that as economic globalisation proceeds, it may at first increase the global diversity of commodities but as it further intensifies it is likely to reduce this diversity, and a similar pattern may occur at the local level. Nevertheless, it seems highly probable that the economic globalisation process will cause inter-regional diversity of commodities to decline. It is apparent that concepts of the economic niche are useful in considering important effects of the extension of the competitiveness of markets, such as occur with economic globalisation, which have been neglected in economic analysis.