The Potential of Co-Operatives during the Current Recession; Theorizing Comparative Advantage

22 Pages Posted: 11 May 2013

See all articles by Johnston Birchall

Johnston Birchall

School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Stirling

Date Written: May 9, 2013

Abstract

This paper asks how effective are co-operatives at surviving economic recession, and whether they can grow at the expense of investor-owned businesses and provide an alternative business model that is fairer, more stable and less risky. The paper begins by providing historical evidence concerning the resilience of co-operatives during economic crises. Then, taking a ‘member-owned business’ approach, it analyses the comparative advantages and disadvantages of co-ops along three dimensions: ownership, control and benefit. It broadens this out to consider advantages to the wider society, and theorises comparative advantages of other business types. It concludes by asking what it would take for the co-operative potential to be realized.

Keywords: Comparative advantage, co-operative business model, resilience during recession

JEL Classification: D23, L21, M21, P13

Suggested Citation

Birchall, Johnston, The Potential of Co-Operatives during the Current Recession; Theorizing Comparative Advantage (May 9, 2013). Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 1-22, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2262681

Johnston Birchall (Contact Author)

School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Stirling ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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