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Defining the co-operative difference

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  • Novkovic, Sonja
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    Abstract

    The paper argues that co-operative firms play a set of roles in market economies, based on the co-operative values and principles that are rarely noted in economic literature. Among other, those roles are to internalize market externalities, to serve as laboratories for social innovation, to espouse social entrepreneurship, to promote ethical business practices, and to aid in development. While economic literature has been focused primarily on the ownership and control structure as a source of the difference, we argue that this focus paints an incomplete picture. The principles of co-operation may supply additional insights in addressing questions why co-operatives may thrive in areas of low labour mobility, prevalent market failures, oligopoly markets, and labour intensive industries. They may also offer insights into strategies and survival in global markets of successful co-operative firms.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 2168-2177

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:6:p:2168-2177

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

    Related research

    Keywords: Co-operative firms Co-operative principles Externalities Social entrepreneurship;

    References

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    1. Porter, Philip K & Scully, Gerald W, 1987. "Economic Efficiency in Cooperatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 489-512, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Carmen Marcuello & Pablo Nachar-Calderón, 2012. "Sociedad cooperativa y socio cooperativo: propuesta de sus funciones objetivo," Documentos de Trabajo dt2012-02, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
    2. Kontolaimou, Alexandra & Tsekouras, Kostas, 2010. "Are cooperatives the weakest link in European banking? A non-parametric metafrontier approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1946-1957, August.

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