Albert O. Hirschman on Competition - Dictionary of Arguments
Brocker I 522
Competition/HirschmanVsTradition/Hirschman: Hirschman is critical of the ideal image of perfect competition. See also Demand/Hirschman.
Brocker I 523
Def "normal" competition/Hirschman: a situation in which not all customers turn away from a certain company and its products in the event of price or quality changes. (1)
Brocker I 524
Hirschman thesis: Competition can act as a cartel! According to Hirschman, whenever the quality of a competitor's product cannot be identified in advance due to a lack of transparency, an entire industry can jointly reduce the quality of its products and keep it low: If the quality of a product decreases, some of the consumers migrate to the competition, only to also not find satisfactory quality, whereupon they migrate to the next product, etc. Customers err from one product to another without complaining. (2)
Panther: here Hirschman anticipates later developments: See Asymmetry/Arrow: Asymmetric Information Markets, Information Economics/Akerlof, Information/Sunstein.
Brocker I 525
Migration/Customers/Quality: Problem: "For those customers who are most concerned about the quality of the product and who are therefore the most active, reliable and creative carriers of the conflict, this is precisely why there is also a clear likelihood that they will be the first to migrate in the event of a deterioration in quality"(3).
It follows from this thesis that an inefficient monopolist can easily get rid of those through a little competition, and thus a little migration opportunity, who could most likely become dangerous to him .
1. Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty. Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States, Cambridge, Mass. 1970. Dt.: Albert O. Hirschman, Abwanderung und Widerspruch. Reaktionen auf Leistungsabfall bei Unternehmungen, Organisationen und Staaten, Tübingen 1974, p. 17
2. Ibid. p. 22
3. Ibid. p. 39
Stephan Panther, „Albert O. Hirschman, Abwanderung und Widerspruch“ in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Albert O. Hirschman
The Strategy of Economic Development New Haven 1958
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018