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How and Why Capitalisms Differ


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  • Boyer, Robert
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    Both the varieties of capitalism school (VOC) and regulation theory (RT) address the issue of how and why capitalisms differ. If VOC challenges the primacy of liberal market economies (LME) and stresses the existence of an alternative form, i.e. coordinated market economies (CME), RT starts from a long-term analysis of the transformation of capitalism in order to search for alternatives to the Fordist regime that emerged after the post-WW II era. Both approaches frequently use in-depth international comparisons, challenge the role of the market as the exclusive coordinating mechanism, and raise doubts about the existence of 'one best way' for capitalism. Finally, they stress that globalization deepens the competitive advantage associated with each institutional architecture. Nevertheless, their methodology differs: VOC stresses private-firm governance, whereas RT considers the primacy of systemic and macroeconomic coherence. Whereas for VOC there exists only LME and CME, RT recurrently finds at least four brands of capitalism: market-led, meso-corporatist, social democratic and state-led. VOC seems to consider that the long-term stability of each form of capitalism can only be challenged by external shocks, but RT stresses the fact that the very success of a regulation mode ends up in a – largely endogenous – structural crisis. Whereas RT started from a rather economic point of view and now investigates the crucial role of politics, VOC originated largely in political science and political economy but now explores the economic theory of the firm. -- Sowohl die Lehre von der Diversität nationaler Kapitalismen (VOC) als auch die Regulierungstheorie (RT) beschäftigen sich mit der Frage, wie Kapitalismen sich unterscheiden und warum sie es tun. Wenn die VOC die Vorrangstellung von freien Marktwirtschaften (LME) in Frage stellt und die Existenz einer Alternative, nämlich die der koordinierten Marktwirtschaften (CME) betont, so beginnt die RT mit einer Langzeituntersuchung der Transformation von Kapitalismen mit dem Ziel, Alternativen zum Fordismus der Zeit nach dem 2. Weltkrieg zu finden. Beide Ansätze gebrauchen häufig international vergleichende Detailanalysen, hinterfragen die Rolle des Marktes als exklusiven Koordinierungsmechanismus und zweifeln an der Existenz eines "one best way" des Kapitalismus. Schließlich wird auf beiden Seiten betont, dass die Globalisierung den Wettbewerbsvorteil einer jeden institutionellen Architektur noch verbessert. Trotzdem ist die Methodologie unterschiedlich: Die Lehre von der Diversität nationaler Kapitalismen hebt die Governance der Privatwirtschaft hervor; für die Regulierungstheorie ist ihr die systemische und makroökonomische Kohärenz überlegen. Während die VOC sich ausschließlich auf LME und CME stützt, gibt es für die RT wenigstens vier verschiedene Arten von Kapitalismus: den marktgeführten, den mesokorporatistischen, den sozialdemokratischen und den staatlich kontrollierten Kapitalismus. Für die VOC scheint die Langzeitstabilität aller Kapitalismen nur von externen Faktoren zu erschüttern sein; die RT legt Wert auf die Feststellung, dass der Erfolg einer Regulierungsmethode mit einer weitgehend endogenen Strukturkrise endet. Während die RT, von einem weitgehend ökonomischen Startpunkt ausgehend, nunmehr die entscheidende Rolle der Politik untersucht, setzt sich die weitgehend aus Politikwissenschaft und politischer Ökonomie stammende VOC heute mit wirtschaftlichen Unternehmenstheorien auseinander.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 05/4.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:054

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    1. Eliasson, Gunnar, 1984. "Micro heterogeneity of firms and the stability of industrial growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 249-274.
    2. Amable, Bruno, 1999. "Institutional complementarity and diversity of social systems of innovation and production," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 99-309, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. Amable, Bruno & Petit, Pascal, 2001. "The diversity of social systems of innovation and production during the 1990s," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 0115, CEPREMAP.
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    Cited by:
    1. Alexei Izyumov & Trista Claxon, 2009. "Models of Capitalism and Income Distribution in Transition Economies: A Comparative Perspective," Journal of Economic Issues, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 43(3), pages 733-758, September.
    2. Céline Gainet, 2010. "Exploring the Impact of Legal Systems and Financial Structure on Corporate Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 195-222, September.
    3. Hein, Eckhard & Dodig, Nina & Budyldina, Natalia, 2014. "Financial, economic and social systems: French Regulation School, Social Structures of Accumulation and Post-Keynesian approaches compared," IPE Working Papers 34/2014, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    4. Kalinowski, Thomas, 2013. "Crisis management and the varieties of capitalism: Fiscal stimulus packages and the transformation of East Asian state-led capitalism since 2008," Discussion Papers, Project Group Modes of Economic Governance SP III 2013-501, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Michael Carney & Eric Gedajlovic & Sujit Sur, 2011. "Corporate governance and stakeholder conflict," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 483-507, August.
    6. Alexander Ebner, 2010. "Varieties of Capitalism and the Limits of Entrepreneurship Policy: Institutional Reform in Germany’s Coordinated Market Economy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 319-341, September.
    7. Michael Carney & Eric Gedajlovic & Xiaohua Yang, 2009. "Varieties of Asian capitalism: Toward an institutional theory of Asian enterprise," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 361-380, September.
    8. ten Brink, Tobias, 2010. "Strukturmerkmale des chinesischen Kapitalismus," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.


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