Citation

Retail's Long Revolution: Power Resources, Regulation, and Market Diversity in Comparative Perspective

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Abstract:

The divergent productivity paths of the Untied States and Europe have garnered significant scholarship in recent years, with information technology (IT)-using service sectors, most prominently the distributive trades, fingered
as likely culprits. Most analyses blamed over-regulation for hindering innovation by European firms during the retail revolution (see The Conference Board,1999). Previous analyses, however, have missed the significant variation among regulatory patterns and corresponding retail structures within Europe. From German hard-discounters, to French hypermarkets, and Nordic Co-ops, European retail markets are anything but unified. In addition, many European models are leaders, not laggards, comparable with American firms in growth, productivity, and employment.

This paper argues that the current “retail revolution” is not sui generis, but rather the current incarnation of a series of political fights that have occurred throughout the affluent economies over the past 50 years. Using four national case studies (United States, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark), it offers a comparative political explanation for regulatory outcomes and market structures based on the economic and social power resources of various interest groups during two common critical junctures. The first was a series of cross-national reforms opening of the retail sector while the second is the current attempt to mitigate the disruptive social and economic effects of present day retailing. The relative power of retailers, manufacturers and diffuse societal interest groups at these two junctures explains much of the modern variation in market outcomes and regulatory regimes.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

retail (137), product (62), growth (58), price (52), firm (43), data (37), servic (37), rule (36), store (35), innov (34), 4 (33), regul (31), supplier (31), european (28), c (28), strategi (28), -10 (27), sale (27), bartholomew (27), use (27), watson (27),
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Association:
Name: Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399812_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Watson, Bartholomew. "Retail's Long Revolution: Power Resources, Regulation, and Market Diversity in Comparative Perspective" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada, Apr 15, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399812_index.html>

APA Citation:

Watson, B. C. , 2010-04-15 "Retail's Long Revolution: Power Resources, Regulation, and Market Diversity in Comparative Perspective" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada Online <PDF>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399812_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The divergent productivity paths of the Untied States and Europe have garnered significant scholarship in recent years, with information technology (IT)-using service sectors, most prominently the distributive trades, fingered
as likely culprits. Most analyses blamed over-regulation for hindering innovation by European firms during the retail revolution (see The Conference Board,1999). Previous analyses, however, have missed the significant variation among regulatory patterns and corresponding retail structures within Europe. From German hard-discounters, to French hypermarkets, and Nordic Co-ops, European retail markets are anything but unified. In addition, many European models are leaders, not laggards, comparable with American firms in growth, productivity, and employment.

This paper argues that the current “retail revolution” is not sui generis, but rather the current incarnation of a series of political fights that have occurred throughout the affluent economies over the past 50 years. Using four national case studies (United States, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark), it offers a comparative political explanation for regulatory outcomes and market structures based on the economic and social power resources of various interest groups during two common critical junctures. The first was a series of cross-national reforms opening of the retail sector while the second is the current attempt to mitigate the disruptive social and economic effects of present day retailing. The relative power of retailers, manufacturers and diffuse societal interest groups at these two junctures explains much of the modern variation in market outcomes and regulatory regimes.


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