Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Classical vs. Neoclassical Conceptions of Competition

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Lefteris Tsoulfidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia) addresses Classical vs. Neoclassical Conceptions of Competition.

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.

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