Competition, Diversity and Economic Performance
Show Less

Competition, Diversity and Economic Performance

Processes, Complexities and Ecological Similarities

Clement A. Tisdell

This thought-provoking book explores the influences of market competition and diverse behaviours of economic agents on economic performance, particularly dynamic economic performance.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 1: The role of competition and diversity in economic performance: an overview

Processes, Complexities and Ecological Similarities

Clement A. Tisdell


Economics studies the comparative influence of alternative methods of managing or administering the use of resources on scarcity (Lange, 1945, p. 19). This is an important problem because human desires for commodities exceed the ability of the available resources to satisfy these desires, and in some cases, lack of supply of commodities results in poverty. If methods can be found that will improve the management of the use of resources, human welfare can be increased and, at the same time, the scope for conserving more resources, including natural environments, expands. However, this bonus, made possible by improved economic performance, could be used entirely to increase material consumption and accelerate resource use and environmental deterioration (Tisdell, 2001). Conservation of resources is then a casualty of increased economic performance. Consequently, future generations can be impoverished by increased future scarcity of resources. Significant reductions in the quality and quantity of resources, particularly natural resources, can occur as a result of economic growth. This prospect has been the subject of considerable modern debate about the sustainability of economic growth and development (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987; Tisdell, 2005, chs 11 and 12; 2009, ch. 7). Societies also have the option when their economic performance improves for their citizens to take more time for leisure and relaxation. Improved economic performance makes it possible (within limits) for a society to increase its material consumption, its amount of time for leisure, and to engage in more resource conservation than would otherwise occur. However, for structural reasons, societies may fail to adopt this option: economic growth may accelerate, natural resources may be utilized at an accelerating rate and there may be little or no increase in the amount and quality of leisure time, as for example pointed out by Tisdell (1999, ch. 6).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.