Competition Universalism: Its Historical Origins and Timely Alternatives

ICAE Working Paper Series, No. 125

30 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2021

See all articles by Claudius Gräbner

Claudius Gräbner

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Stephan Puehringer

Johannes Kepler University of Linz - Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE)

Date Written: May 14, 2021

Abstract

This paper discusses the actual relevance and historical origins or ‘competition universalism’. In economics, competition is conceptualized as a nearly ubiquitous element of societies, or, at least, used to study a wide array of social and political relations, including competition between firms for market shares, between individuals for prestige, countries for resources, athletes for victory, or politicians for influence. This trend towards ‘competition universalism’ was facilitated by the increasing dominance of an economic approach that places less weight on descriptive accuracy and a consideration so socio-historical specificities, but instead focuses on the development of general and tractable mathematical models. Thereby, the paper links the trend to competition universalism to developments in the epistemological orientation in economics. It first explicates the historical genesis of competition universalism, then discusses the extent it has reached today, and concludes with critical remarks and the proposition of an alternative, more particularist approach to study competition.

Keywords: competition universalism, economic and social sphere, economic imperialism, economic methodology

JEL Classification: B0, B4, Z1

Suggested Citation

Gräbner, Claudius and Puehringer, Stephan, Competition Universalism: Its Historical Origins and Timely Alternatives (May 14, 2021). ICAE Working Paper Series, No. 125, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3856905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3856905

Claudius Gräbner (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University Linz

Altenbergerstr. 69
A-4040 Linz, Uper Austria 4040
Austria

Stephan Puehringer

Johannes Kepler University of Linz - Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy (ICAE) ( email )

Aubrunnerweg 3a
A-4040 Linz
Austria

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