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Business Associations and Their Potential to Contribute to Economic Development: Reexploring an Interface between the State and Market

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  • R J Bennett

    (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge CB2 3BN, Cambridge, England)

Abstract

This paper is an examination of the role of business associations as agents to facilitate economic development through (1) provision of selective services to their members, and (2) through collective benefits. The author assesses the extent to which associations offer solutions to collective action problems. Business directories and other sources are then used in order to assess the role played by UK associations. All major business associations are examined: trade associations, professional associations, associations of the self-employed or sole traders, and Chambers of Commerce. This paper contributes the first assessment of the population of associations. The author concludes that, although there are strong contrasts between types of association, they are all strongly focused on one or a few services, and there is considerable fragmentation and range of size of associations which appear to relate to two overlapping submarkets (one for ‘collective’ goods, another for selective ‘services’). Associations appear to be quite stable over time, demonstrating a strong path-dependency. The author concludes that if government wants associations to play a larger role in economic development little more will be achieved by voluntary action alone.

Suggested Citation

  • R J Bennett, 1998. "Business Associations and Their Potential to Contribute to Economic Development: Reexploring an Interface between the State and Market," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 30(8), pages 1367-1387, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:30:y:1998:i:8:p:1367-1387
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    Cited by:

    1. Thompson, Edmund R., 2002. "Clustering of Foreign Direct Investment and Enhanced Technology Transfer: Evidence from Hong Kong Garment Firms in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 873-889, May.
    2. Sabrina Lechler & Angelo Canzaniello & Anton Wetzstein & Evi Hartmann, 2020. "Influence of different stakeholders on first-tier suppliers’ sustainable supplier selection: insights from a multiple case study in the automotive first-tier industry," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 13(2), pages 425-454, July.
    3. James Curran Shaw & Robert Blackburn, 2000. "Panacea or White Elephant? A Critical Examination of the Proposed New Small Business Service and Response to the DTI Consultancy Paper," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 181-189.
    4. Jorge Vera Garcia, 2001. "From globalisation to upgrading value in the productive chain in specialised agglomerations: Is local space still important? Evidence From Mexico," ERSA conference papers ersa01p103, European Regional Science Association.

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