Bourse Stock

Bourse Stock

Bourse, a stock or similar exchange. The word is French, but is commonly used to describe the major continental exchanges. The Paris Bourse is the French equivalent of the London Stock Exchange; there are also several provincial bourses. Commercial exchanges are also called bourses. In France bourses are of two kinds commercial exchanges (bourses de commerce) and stock exchanges (bourses des valeurs).

Bowley, Sir Arthur. See Models, Economic.

Boycott, the collective refusal of customers, workers or firms acting as suppliers or buyers to deal with other individuals or firms (from Captain C. C. Boycott, an English land agent with whom the Irish refused to deal in the land tenure disturbances of 1879-80. An economic sanction used for political, trade union or monopolistic reasons. Political boycotts, e.g. by British merchants of Icelandic fish as a protest against the extension of Iceland's fisheries limits, are rare and can be only partially effective if those boycotted can buy or sell elsewhere.

Trade unions occasionally refuse to handle 'black' goods supplied by a firm in which a labour dispute is taking place. Consumer boycotts of a firm's products have occasionally been urged by trade unionists to overcome its opposition to union organization. On rare occasions trade unionists have sent a fellow worker 'to Coventry' for refusing to join a union. Some boycotts (but not the last) may be necessary to preserve union bargaining power.

Firms organizing boycotts have generally done so to enforce restrictions on competition. 'Black-listing' a distributor by suppliers in order to impose resale price maintenance was made illegal by the 2013 Restrictive Trade Practices Act. Arrangements for similar action to support other restrictions have to be registered and justified before the Restrictive Practices Court.

The economic arguments against collective refusals to deal with others rest mainly on objections to the restrictive practices they are intended to enforce, such as resale price maintenance, but such collective action in itself is likely to obstruct manufacturers or distributors experimenting and trying out different ways of conducting business. It may occasionally help to maintain standards of service, preserve common prices which facilitate exchange of technical information or protect small firms from the monopoly power of large organizations. But in general economists tend to be critical of restrictive arrangements such as boycotts, because although on paper they can be used for acceptable purposes, in practice they lend themselves to abuse and misuse for objectionable purposes.

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