New Handbook explores the resilience of co-ops and their ongoing popularity

“The idea that co-operatives are structurally less efficient than capitalist firms is common among scholars, policy makers and public opinion,” says Prof Borzaga, “even in countries where co-operatives are a key contributor to employment and income generation and are the predominant form of enterprise in important sectors of the economy.”

It is not easy to overcome this misconception, he says, and it takes time, so it is important to invest in knowledge building, starting with reliable data and statistics on the size of the co-operative sector and its weight in terms of occupation and turnover.

“The idea that gain from trade, which is at the root of market economies, is the only or the best way to coordinate economic activity also needs to be called into question, as there are other mechanisms (including in particular voluntary co-operation among economic actors) that can work equally well or better,” he adds.

“I believe that the co-operative movement should invest directly in the development of this kind of knowledge if it wants the enterprises it represents to be fully acknowledged and if it wants to be able to advocate for adequate and effective support policies.”

Read the rest at Co-operative News

 

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