Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage

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Peter A. Hall, David Soskice
OUP Oxford, Aug 30, 2001 - Business & Economics - 570 pages
What are the most fundamental differences among the political economies of the developed world? How do national institutional differences condition economic performance, public policy, and social well-being? Will they survive the pressures for convergence generated by globalization and technological change? These have long been central questions in comparative political economy. This book provides a new and coherent set of answers to them. Building on the new economics of organization, the authors develop an important new theory about which differences among national political economies are most significant for economic policy and performance. Drawing on a distinction between 'liberal' and 'coordinated' market economies, they argue that there is more than one path to economic success. Nations need not converge to a single Anglo-American model. They develop a new theory of 'comparative institutionaladvantage' that transforms our understanding of international trade, offers new explanations for the response of firms and nations to the challenges of globalization, and provides a new theory of national interest to explain the conduct of nations in international relations. The analysis brings the firm back into the centre of comparative political economy. It provides new perspectives on economic and social policy-making that illuminate the role of business in the development of the welfare state and the dilemmas facing those who make economic policy in the contemporary world. Emphasizing the 'institutional complementarities' that link labour relations, corporate finance, and national legal systems, the authors bring interdisciplinary perspectives to bear on issues of strategic management, economic performance, and institutional change. This pathbreaking work sets new agendas in the study of comparative political economy. As such, it will be of value to academics and graduate students in economics, business, and political science, as well as to many others with interests in international relations, social policy-making, and the law.
 

Contents

1 An Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism
1
General Themes and Diverse Applications
69
Case Studies in Public Policy Continuity and Change
245
Corporate Governance Firm Strategy and the Law
335

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About the author (2001)

Peter A. Hall is Frank G. Thomson Professor of Government and Harvard College Professor at Harvard University where he is also the Director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. He is the author or editor of several books and many articles on European politics, policy-making, and comparative political economy. His work has received numerous awards including the Woodrow Wilson Award for the best book in political science published in 1986 and the Luebbert Award for the best article in comparative politics published in 1998. David Soskice is Research Professor of Political Science at Duke University and Adjunct Research Professor at the School for Social Sciences of the Australian National University. He is Emeritus Fellow in Economics at University College, Oxford, and on leave from the Wissenschaftszentrum für Sozialforschung in Berlin (WZB) where he has been Director of the Research Unit on Employment and Economic Change since 1990. He is the author or editor of several books and many articles on comparative political economy, macroeconomics, and labor economics.

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