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Classical vs. Neoclassical Conceptions of Competition

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Abstract

This article discusses two major conceptions of competition, the classical and the neoclassical. In the classical conception, competition is viewed as a dynamic rivalrous process of firms struggling with each other over the expansion of their market shares. This dynamic view of competition characterizes mainly the works of Smith, Ricardo, J.S. Mill and Marx; a similar view can be also found in the writings of Austrian economists and the business literature. By contrast, the neoclassical conception of competition is derived from the requirements of a theory geared towards static equilibrium and not from any historical observation of the way in which firms actually organize and compete with each other.

Suggested Citation

  • Lefteris Tsoulfidis, 2011. "Classical vs. Neoclassical Conceptions of Competition," Discussion Paper Series 2011_11, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Nov 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcd:mcddps:2011_11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
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    3. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
    4. Anwar M. Shaikh, 1995. "The Stock Market and the Corporate Sector: Profit-Based Approach," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_146, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Clifton, James A, 1977. "Competition and the Evolution of the Capitalist Mode of Production," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 137-151, June.
    6. Flaschel, Peter & Semmler, Willi, 1987. "Classical and Neoclassical Competitive Adjustment Processes," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 55(1), pages 13-37, March.
    7. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
    8. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
    9. Shaikh, Anwar, 1980. "Marxian Competition versus Perfect Competition: Further Comments on the So-Called Choice of Technique," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 75-83, March.
    10. Dumenil, Gerard & Levy, Dominique, 1987. "The Dynamics of Competition: A Restoration of the Classical Analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 133-164, June.
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    12. Lefteris Tsoulfidis & Persefoni Tsaliki, 2005. "Marxian Theory of Competition and the Concept of Regulating Capital: Evidence from Greek Manufacturing," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 37(1), pages 5-22, March.
    13. George J. Stigler, 1957. "Perfect Competition, Historically Contemplated," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 1-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bus:jphile:v:10:y:2017:i:2:n:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Lefteris TSOULFIDIS, 2017. "Economic theory in historical perspective," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 102-124, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Classical Competition; Regulating Capital; Incremental Rate of Return; Rate of Profit; Perfect Competition.;

    JEL classification:

    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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