COMPETITION AS AN END-STATE AND COMPETITION AS A PROCESS

Paper number: 95/16

Year: 1995

Paper Category: Discussion Paper

Authors

Mark Blaug
University of Exeter*

Abstract

The contrast between two very different notions of competition: competition as an end-state of rest in the rivalry between buyers and sellers, and competition as a dynamic process of rivalry that may or may not terminate in an end-state. The chequered career of the concept of competition is traced trhoug the writings of Smith, Marx, Marshall and Walras, who are shown to have held radically different conceptions of competition as a market structure as well as a mode of conduct of firms.

JEL Classification numbers: L0 and B2.
Keywords: Competition, stability, contestability.

*Mailing address: Department of Economics, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, Devon, England. EX4 4RJ.