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Economic Competition and Evolution: Are there Lessons from Ecology?

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  • Tisdell, Clement A.

Abstract

After discussing generally models in ecology and economics that combine competition, optimization and evolution, this article concentrates on models of intraspecific competition. It demonstrates the importance of diversity/inequalities within populations of species and other environments for the sustainability of their populations, given the occurrence of environmental change. This is demonstrated both for scramble (open-access) and contest competition. Implications are drawn for human populations and for industrial organization. The possibility is raised that within industry competition may not always exist between firms in all stages of the development of a new industry. Policy implications are considered. For example, it is argued that policies designed to encourage intense business competition and maximum economic efficiency have the drawback of eventually making industries highly vulnerable to exogenous economic changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Tisdell, Clement A., 2003. "Economic Competition and Evolution: Are there Lessons from Ecology?," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90526, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseet:90526
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. C. A. Tisdell*, 1985. "Conceptual Issues in the Measurement of Economic and Productive Efficiencies," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 53(1), pages 38-45, March.
    2. Eldredge, Niles, 1997. "Evolution in the marketplace," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 385-398, October.
    3. Lasselle, Laurence & Svizzero, Serge & Tisdell, Clement Allan, 2001. "Diversity, Globalisation and Market Stability," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 54(3), pages 385-399.
    4. Hodgson, Geoffrey M, 1994. "Optimisation and Evolution: Winter's Critique of Friedman Revisited," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 413-430, August.
    5. Tisdell, Clement A., 2001. "The Political Economy of Globalisation: Processes involving the Role of Markets, Institutions and Governance," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90507, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    6. Tisdell, Clement A. & Svizzero, Serge, 2001. "Globalization, Social Welfare, Labor Markets and Fiscal Competition," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90503, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    7. Sidney G. Winter, 1964. "Economic "Natural Selection" and the Theory of the Firm," LEM Chapters Series,in: Yale Economic Essays, pages 225-272 Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    8. Tisdell, Clem & Seidl, Irmi, 2004. "Niches and economic competition: implications for economic efficiency, growth and diversity," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 119-135, June.
    9. Svizzero, Serge & Tisdell, Clement A., 2001. "Concepts of Competition in Theory and Practice," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90469, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    10. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-52, April.
    11. Tisdell, Clement A., 2001. "Competition and Evolution in Economics and Ecology Compared," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90506, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    12. Tisdell, Clement A., 2001. "Globalisation, the Environment and Sustainability: EKC, Neo-Malthusian Concerns and the WTO," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 90502, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    13. Hannon, Bruce, 1997. "The use of analogy in biology and economics: From biology to economics, and back," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 471-488, October.
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