Stable Economic Cooperation: A Relational Approach

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2008-25

47 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2008

See all articles by Robert P. Gilles

Robert P. Gilles

Queen's University Management School

Emiliya A. Lazarova

Queen's University Belfast

Pieter H. M. Ruys

Date Written: February 1, 2008


We consider a relational economy in which economic agents participate in three types of relational economic activities: autarkic activities; binary matching activities; and plural cooperative activities. We introduce a stability notion and characterize stable interaction structures, both in the absence of externalities from cooperation as well as in the presence of size-based externalities. It is shown that institutional elements such as the emergence of socio-economic roles and organizations based on hierarchical leadership structures support and promote stable economic development.

Keywords: Cooperatives, Networks, Clubs, Relational economies, Stable matchings

JEL Classification: C72, D71, D85

Suggested Citation

Gilles, Robert P. and Lazarova, Emiliya A. and Ruys, Pieter H. M., Stable Economic Cooperation: A Relational Approach (February 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Robert P. Gilles (Contact Author)

Queen's University Management School ( email )

25 University Sq
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
United Kingdom

Emiliya A. Lazarova

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, BT7 1NN

No contact information is available for Pieter H. M. Ruys

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