Processes, Complexities and Ecological Similarities
Chapter 8: Market niches, competition and economic performance: more clues from ecology?
This chapter examines the relationship between market niches and economic competition and explores the consequences of market 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 market 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. It is suggested that economic globalization 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 stabilizing properties.
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