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Single Peaked Vs. Diversified Capitalism: The Relation Between Economic Institutions and Outcomes

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

Capitalist countries have historically had quite different labour market institutions and social policies. Do these differences produce sufficiently different economic outcomes to identify a single peak set of institutions? This paper shows that: 1. Labour market institutions have large effects on distribution, but modest hard-to-uncover effects on efficiency. 2. Institutional diversity is increasing among advanced countries, as measured by the percentage of workers covered by collective bargaining. 3. The case for the US having the institutions for peak economy status rests on its 1990s full employment experience, which arguably counterbalances its high level of economic inequality The historical pattern whereby some capitalist countries do better than others in some periods (ie Japan in the 1970s-1980s), then run into problems is more consonant with the view that capitalism permits national differences in institutions to persist than with the view that all economies must converge to a single institutional structure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7556.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Publication status: published as Dreze, Jacques (ed.) Advances in Macroeconomic Theory. London, UK: Palgrave, in association with the IEA, Conf. Vol #133, 2002.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7556

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  1. Davis, Steven J. & Henrekson, Magnus, 2005. "Wage-setting institutions as industrial policy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 345-377, June.
  2. Richard B. Freeman, 1988. "Labor Market Institutions, Constraints, and Performance," NBER Working Papers 2560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. R. Jackman & R. Layard & S. Nickell, 1996. "Combatting unemployment: is flexibility enough?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47446, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  5. Soskice, David, 1990. "Wage Determination: The Changing Role of Institutions in Advanced Industrialized Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 36-61, Winter.
  6. Kreps, David M., 1990. "Game Theory and Economic Modelling," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283812, September.
  7. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
  8. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records," NBER Working Papers 5224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Christopher L. Erikson & Andrea Ichino, 1994. "Wage Differentials in Italy: Market Forces, Institutions, and Inflation," NBER Working Papers 4922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Richard B. Freeman & Remco Oostendorp, 2000. "Wages Around the World: Pay Across Occupations and Countries," NBER Working Papers 8058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Per-Anders Edin & Bertl Holmlund, 1993. "The Swedish Wage Stucture: The Rise and Fall of Solidarity Wage Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 1994. "Does Employment Protection Inhibit Labor Market Flexibility? Lessons from Germany, France, and Belgium," NBER Chapters, in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 59-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Working Under Different Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free94-1, October.
  14. David Card, 1992. "The Effect of Unions on the Distribution of Wages: Redistribution or Relabelling?," NBER Working Papers 4195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
  16. John DiNardo & Kevin Hallock & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1997. "Unions and Managerial Pay," NBER Working Papers 6318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Douglas L. Kruse, 1993. "Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ps, December.
  18. Addison, John T & Hirsch, Barry T, 1989. "Union Effects on Productivity, Profits, and Growth: Has the Long Run Arrived?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 72-105, January.
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