By Trevor Buck
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Extra resources for Comparative Industrial Systems: Industry under Capitalism, Central Planning and Self-Management
Third, Natural Selection and 'Austrian' theories are probably naive in the sense that the role of monopolistic elements and barriers to entry are neglected. Profitable corporations may consolidate their market positions through advertising, research and the elimination of competition through mergers financed out of past profits and borrowing. Subsequently, size may insulate them from the discipline of the stock market, despite poor profits' performance. Indeed, Marris and Mueller (1980, pp. 50-9) view modem capitalism as 'competition for monopoly power' through research, persuasive advertising, expenditures to influence government policies and take-overs to enhance monopoly power: The possibility thus arises that the total cost of investments in nonprice competition exceeds the benefits.
4 is likely to cause lower profitability than at P but that higher rates of growth to the right of P will reduce profitability because (Downie, 1958) firms will have to pay more for borrowings in a competitive capital market or because oligopolistic competition in producer markets means that sales can only be increased at the expense of price and profit. Alternatively, profitability might fall with growth, owing to managerial diseconomies (Penrose, 1959), especially the high training costs for new management recruits.
Even if finns do maximise profits, however, it cannot then be concluded that the capitalist allocation of resources is utopian, since market failures and imperfections may occur. e. prices above marginal cost. g. Harberger (1954) and for recent commentaries favouring Harberger's conclusion, see Yunker (1979, pp. 82-5) and Gregory and Stuart (1980, p. 51). The latter conclude from the findings that Capitalism, especially in the perfectly competItIVe fonn, should provide a high level of efficiency, especially in the static case ...
Comparative Industrial Systems: Industry under Capitalism, Central Planning and Self-Management by Trevor Buck