Economic, Political, Legal and Cultural Grounds of Competition

Not sure if I posted this before but it is online now: Walsh, John, “Economic, Political, Legal and Cultural Grounds of Competition,” in Brian De Schiane, ed., The World Economy Today: Major Trends and Developments (Yerevan: Alternative Research Centre, 2012), pp.146-63, available at:


Comparative advantages involve the differential spatial distribution of natural or created resources that operate at the industry or national level. Competitive advantages involve the superior deployment of competencies and resources that enable effective competition at the firm level. Both comparative and competitive advantages wax and wane in time and, in a globalized world, are available to different extents to domestic and localised actors. One important role for government is encouraging the growth of different forms of advantage and enabling actors to use them singly or in combination to help drive economic growth for, preferably, all members of the economy. Advantages include not just those relating to macroeconomic variables but to a much wider set of concerns, including the cultural, political and legal. As business practitioners know full well, all of these areas are replete with ideas and issues that can be used to obtain an advantage. Former colonial links, broadcasting, cultural hegemony, enforcement of the adoption of political systems and enlistment in or denial of membership of international legal standards are all areas that may be used in this way. The current chapter highlights different types of grounds for competition and delineates their main features and future prospects.


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