Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Distribution of responsibility, ability and competition

Graafland, J.J. (2003): Distribution of responsibility, ability and competition. Published in: Journal of Business Ethics , Vol. 1-2, No. 45 (2003): pp. 133-147.

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This paper considers the distribution of responsibility for prevention of negative social or ecological effects of production and consumption. Responsibility is related to ability and ability depends on welfare. An increase in competition between Western companies depresses their profitability, but increases the welfare of Western consumers, and hence their ability, to acknowledge social values. Therefore, an increase in competition on consumer markets shifts the balance in responsibility from companies to consumers to prevent negative external effects from production and consumption patterns. An increase in competition on investor markets will shift the balance in an opposite direction.

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