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Quantitative indicators of corporatism: A survey and assessment


  • Kenworthy, Lane


Corporatism has been one of the most heavily studied concepts in comparative political economy over the past two decades, and quantitative indicators of corporatism have played a central role in the corporatist literature. This paper offers a survey and assessment of 42 such indicators. The principal aims are to provide an inventory of existing indicators, to examine their relative trustworthiness and utility, and to assess the robustness of empirical findings on the effects of corporatism on macroeconomic performance and income distribution and redistribution. Among the more noteworthy conclusions I reach are the following: (1) While quantitative corporatism measures have improved substantially in recent years, substantial gaps remain. (2) There is little justification for continued use of time-invariant measures. (3) Composite corporatism measures are commonplace, yet their creators and users have yet to offer a compelling explication of how corporatist effects are generated in such a way that they are more accurately captured by aggregated indicators than by narrowly-targeted ones. (4) There is fairly strong indication that one or more aspects/types of corporatism were associated with nominal wage restraint, low inflation, low unemployment, and low income inequality during the 1970s and 1980s. However, the results vary markedly depending upon the particular indicator used, and there is little evidence to support the common presumption that corporatism's unemployment-reducing effect occurs via real wage restraint.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenworthy, Lane, 2000. "Quantitative indicators of corporatism: A survey and assessment," MPIfG Discussion Paper 00/4, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McCallum, John, 1983. "Inflation and Social Consensus in the Seventies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 784-805, December.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:04:p:945-948_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Beck, Nathaniel & Katz, Jonathan N. & Alvarez, R. Michael & Garrett, Geoffrey & Lange, Peter, 1993. "Government Partisanship, Labor Organization, and Macroeconomic Performance: A Corrigendum," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(04), pages 945-948, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oesch, Daniel, 2009. "Explaining high unemployment among low-skilled workers: Evidence from 21 European and Anglo-Saxon countries, 1991-2006," MPRA Paper 21041, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Helge Sanner, 2006. "Imperfect goods and labor markets, and the union wage gap," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(1), pages 119-136, February.
    3. Kittel, Bernhard, 2001. "How bargaining mediates wage determination: An exploration of the parameters of wage functions in a pooled time-series cross-section framework," MPIfG Discussion Paper 01/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    4. Dong-One Kim & Yoon-Ho Kim & Paula Voos & Hiromasa Suzuki & Young Doo Kim, 2015. "Evaluating Industrial Relations Systems of OECD Countries from 1993 to 2005: A Two-Dimensional Approach," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 53(4), pages 645-663, December.
    5. Huo, Jingjing, 2015. "How Nations Innovate: The Political Economy of Technological Innovation in Affluent Capitalist Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198735847.
    6. Grignon Michel, 2012. "Roadblocks to Reform: Beyond the Usual Suspects," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 2012-01, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

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