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Cooperatives as the "enfants terribles" of economics: Some implications for the social economy

Yair Levi and Peter Davis

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2008, vol. 37, issue 6, 2178-2188

Abstract: The cooperatives are too economically oriented to be included in the non-profit sector and too socially oriented to be considered as an economic for-profit organization. These "enfants terribles" are wholly depersonalized. They represent a broader phenomenon, going beyond the dominant global economy. As such, cooperatives are seen as a model based on dual components, an economic and a social. Here lies the source of the incompatibility between the hegemonic economic paradigm and an organizational rationale claiming to be based on the co-existence of two features, the social and the economic. Therefore, this article supports the idea of non-profit economy, the cornerstone of the social economy but facing outward offering competing goods and services which can facilitate the market economy and mitigate the tendency towards oligopoly.

Keywords: Enfants; terribles; Dual; nature; Cooperatives; Non-distribution; constraint; Non-profit; sector (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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