Academic journal article European Research Studies

Program-Targeted Regulation of the Regional Consumer Market

Academic journal article European Research Studies

Program-Targeted Regulation of the Regional Consumer Market

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction to the Problem

Globalization is progressively transforming regional markets into the "branches" of the global market. Any manufacturer of goods and services comes into competition with manufacturers in other regions and countries to any extent. Increased competition, market structural changes lead to changes in consumption standards, in the range of goods, forms of trade organization, services, consumers and other market players' behavior patterns. Deep changes also occur in people's value orientations, their relationship, directions of social development.

High rates of economic development, due to scientific and technical progress, have expanded the possibilities for consumption on the one hand and have led to excessive consumption and ecological imbalance on the other hand. This situation is primarily defined in developed countries, in relation to which since the 60s of the past century definitions "consumer society" or "society of consumers" were used (Ilyin, 2008). The consumer society is characterized by the accumulation of huge consumer resources and culture, focused on consumption as the key value. In such society, consumption is no longer a mean of survival for its citizens, but an instrument of social identity construction, social and cultural integration in the society. This is clearly shown in the most developed countries of the world.

In Russia, at the edge of the 1980s-1990s there was a tendency of formation of the consumer society. It belongs to the category of countries with focal contour of the consumer society, as the scope and structure of citizens' consumption, development of the consumer market are significantly behind the developed countries. In a consumer society the revolutionary changes take place in the trade organization and in services. Key positions in the consumer market are occupied by large shopping malls, supermarkets and hypermarkets, which are transformed into places of leisure, "museums" of contemporary consumer culture.

Cafes, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs networks are dynamically developing. They meet not only the need for food, but the need of communication without domestic problems. As a result the culture of consumption and communication is changing, and personal relationships are increasingly mediated by the market.

The structure of cost of goods and services is significantly changing. The traditional forms of exchange and consumer behavior are supplemented by token value, which plays an increasingly important role in pricing (brands). Goods are increasingly valued as the means of communication which allow showing others the information about social status, identity, fashion, and other features of its owner. Manufacturing and selling the brands become effective economic activities, as people are willing to pay for their associations, views, expectations, and preferences.

Modern consumerism, materialized on the behavioral level, in the opinion of foreign scientists is "people's life, too preoccupied with consumption" (Gabriel & Lang, 1995).

1.2 Exploration of the Importance of the Problem

Creating the prerequisites for high living standards, the consumer society generates growth of tensions for people and nature. Uncontrolled consumption has devastating effects on the environment and human health. In this regard, the government and social structures in these countries are concerned about the issues of sustainable development. Governments of developed countries are increasingly invading into the processes taking place in the consumer market. They control product quality and safety. In 32 countries there are, for example, the standards for economically net products, in 9 countries they are being implemented, in 15 they are still developing (Ilyin, 2008).

The need for government regulation of the consumer market in Russia and its regions, in contrast to developed countries now explained not so much by consumerism but by such factors as: the necessity of balanced supply and demand, efficient organization of exchange processes of goods and services, creation of conditions for fair competition and prevention of the monopolization of the market, consumer rights protection as well as the interests of the poor etc. …

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