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How and Why Capitalisms Differ

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  • Boyer, Robert

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyer, Robert, 2005. "How and Why Capitalisms Differ," MPIfG Discussion Paper 05/4, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • 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, 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. 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, vol. 10(3), pages 319-341, September.
    2. Cognard, Étienne, 2013. "Intégration européenne et déclin du néo-corporatisme. Un renversement de perspective à la lumière des accords collectifs sur la formation continue," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 14.
    3. Voeten, J. & de Haan, J.A.C. & Roome, N. & de Groot, G.A., 2015. "Understanding responsible innovation in small producers’ clusters in Vietnam through Actor Network Theory (ANT)," Other publications TiSEM c111d44f-b8ce-4885-837d-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Michael Carney & Eric Gedajlovic & Sujit Sur, 2011. "Corporate governance and stakeholder conflict," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 15(3), pages 483-507, August.
    5. Dodig, Nina & Herr, Hansjörg, 2015. "Theories of finance and financial crisis: Lessons for the Great Recession," IPE Working Papers 48/2015, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    6. 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).
    7. repec:eee:worbus:v:53:y:2018:i:3:p:307-322 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Den Dulk, Laura & Groeneveld, Sandra & Ollier-Malaterre, Ariane & Valcour, Monique, 2013. "National context in work-life research: A multi-level cross-national analysis of the adoption of workplace work-life arrangements in Europe," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 478-494.
    9. 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).
    10. Ashby H. B. Monk, 2008. "The Knot of Contracts: The Corporate Geography of Legacy Costs," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 84(2), pages 211-235, April.
    11. Bridget O'Laughlin, 2008. "Forum 2008," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 39(6), pages 945-957, November.
    12. Alexei Izyumov & Trista Claxon, 2009. "Models of Capitalism and Income Distribution in Transition Economies: A Comparative Perspective," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 733-758.
    13. ten Brink, Tobias, 2010. "Strukturmerkmale des chinesischen Kapitalismus," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    14. Fritz, Martin & Koch, Max, 2014. "Potentials for prosperity without growth: Ecological sustainability, social inclusion and the quality of life in 38 countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 191-199.
    15. Céline Gainet, 2010. "Exploring the Impact of Legal Systems and Financial Structure on Corporate Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 195-222, September.
    16. Rachael Gibson & Harald Bathelt, 2014. "Proximity relations and global knowledge flows: specialization and diffusion processes across capitalist varieties," Chapters,in: Regional Development and Proximity Relations, chapter 9, pages 291-314 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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