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From friendly turns towards trade – on the interplay between cooperation and markets

Stefan Mann (Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz Tänikon, Ettenhausem, Switzerland)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 11 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Many transactions are partly carried out within social networks and without payment, partly commercially on the market. The paper aims to explore the interdependencies between shrinking cooperation in society and a growing service sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The author tries to categorize cooperation and to set it into relation to services carried out against payment. Examples are found where a clear switch from cooperation to the service sector have been taken place.

Findings

The paper diagnoses a broad societal switch from socially driven cooperation to the market. Tour reps at holiday clubs, psychologists and nurses for the elderly are all rising professions and are used as cases in point. Utility theory sees such switches as a rise in GDP and therefore as something positive. From a happiness research perspective, however, switching from cooperation to markets will probably lead to declining social capital.

Research limitations/implications

The overall impact to societal utility remains unclear.

Originality/value

This is an example for a phenomenon where happiness research leads to very different results from welfare economics.

Keywords

Citation

Mann, S. (2008), "From friendly turns towards trade – on the interplay between cooperation and markets", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 326-337. https://doi.org/10.1108/03068290810861585

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited