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Competition: The Ways To Perfection


  • Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira



In the economic literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, perfect competition rests on essentially two different types of foundations, the distinction of which has not always been emphasized enough. According to the first type, perfect competition prevails when the agents, small relative to the market, completely lack the power to influence their environments, be it in a cooperative or a non-cooperative context. According to the second, perfect competition results from the agents’ normal conduct, independently of their size: either peaceful price taking or, on the contrary, aggressive undercutting. The paper reviews and compares briefly these different categories of foundations.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira, 2012. "Competition: The Ways To Perfection," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 63, pages 205-218.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2012:i:63:p:205-218

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier Godard, 1990. "Environnement, modes de coordination et systèmes de légitimité : analyse de la catégorie de patrimoine naturel," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 41(2), pages 215-242.
    2. Claude Henry, 1984. "La microéconomie comme langage et enjeu de négociations," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 35(1), pages 177-198.
    3. Thierry Hommel & Olivier Godard, 2002. "Trajectoire de contestabilité sociale et production d'OGM à usage agricole," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 270(1), pages 36-49.
    4. Driessen, Peter P. J. & Glasbergen, Pieter & Verdaas, Co, 2001. "Interactive policy-making - a model of management for public works," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 128(2), pages 322-337, January.
    5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    6. Jean-Charles Hourcade & Emeric Fortin, 2000. "Impact economique des politiques climatiques : des controverses aux enjeux de coordination," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 82, pages 45-74.
    7. Olivier Barreteau, 2003. "The Joint Use of Role-Playing Games and Models Regarding Negotiation Processes: Characterization of Associations," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 6(2), pages 1-3.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Deschamps, 2013. "Pourquoi des politiques de concurrence ?," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-23, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

    More about this item


    perfect competition;

    JEL classification:

    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • D41 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Perfect Competition
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection


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