What Can Economics Learn from Marketing Market Structure Analysis?

by Charles C. Fischer

In this exploratory article, the author examines the fact that economists and marketers share a common interest in better understanding market structure, but they take somewhat different approaches to the problem. Economists emphasize a taxonomic approach, defining ideal market structures based on an assessment of key structural variables. Marketers utilize some elements of this approach (primarily, substitutability and cross elasticity), but emphasize a process methodology to identify market structure. Within this methodology, market structure is derived on the basis of: (1) the product/service, (2) its purpose, or (3) a hybrid of the two.

The purpose of this article is to examine what insights the methodology of marketing market structure analysis (MSA) has for economic MSA. Of particular interest is how marketing MSA may be used to complement and strengthen economic MSA.

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