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consumer services

  Services which are ordinarily supplied to individual consumers (cf. producer services). This definition encompasses a large array of quite different economic activities. Until recently, precisely for this reason, the study of the geography of consumer services was nearly always subsumed under a whole set of different headings such as the geography of retailing, the geography of public services, and the geography of tourism. However, the geography of consumer services is now more likely to be approached under one heading because of an increasing interest in the geography of the workings of private consumer markets. In particular, as researchers have become more interested in the possibility of a \'third way\' between state and market provision, so interest has stirred in how markets for consumer services are \'embedded\' in state regulatory structures and in the phenomenon of \'quasi-markets\' in which public services are supplied on partly marketized lines. (See also collective consumption; consumption, geography of; money and finance, geography of; retailing, geography of; services, geography of; tourism, geography of.) (NJT)

References Williams, C. 1997: Consumer services and economic development. London: Routledge. Wrigley, N. and Lowe, M., eds, 1996: Retailing, consumption and capital. The new retail geography. London: Longman.



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