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Is There a Cooperative Advantage?

Morris Altman ()

No 4078, Working Paper Series from Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation

Abstract: Would you willingly pay more for groceries from the local cooperative than identical brands sold by the local branch of the privately-owned chain? Conventional economic theory suggests that a rational Homo Economicus would never entertain such a proposition. However Morris Altman's survey-based research on the role that social cohesion plays in consumers' choices reveals that not only are the individuals who are members of the cooperative (and may therefore participate in other benefits) willing to pay the higher prices so too are non-members. These results speak to the potential strengths of consumer cooperatives (relative to non-coops) in competitive markets as consumers value the non-material benefits they receive from the cooperative's investments in social cohesion.

Keywords: cooperatives; consumers; social cohesion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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