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Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage [Paperback]

Peter A. Hall , David Soskice
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 Aug 2001 0199247757 978-0199247752
What are the most important differences among national economies? Is globalization forcing nations to converge on an Anglo-American model? What explains national differences in social and economic policy? This pathbreaking work outlines a new approach to these questions. It highlights the role of business in national economies and shows that there is more than one path to economic success. The book sets a new intellectual agenda for everyone interested in relations between politics, economics, and business.

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Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage + Debating Varieties of Capitalism: A Reader + Beyond Varieties of Capitalism: Conflict, Contradictions, and Complementarities in the European Economy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 570 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (30 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199247757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199247752
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"... this volume and its associated literature, will become the paradigm of explanation for the next decade." -- West European Politics

"Contains some first-rate analysis." -- British Journal of International Relations.

"It is a useful and wide-ranging book." -- John Sloan, Financial Adviser Careers Extra

"Quoted as one of the six books to change the world." -- New Statesman

"This volume offers a new approach to understanding the institutional differences and similarities among the developed economies." -- Progress in Human Geography

"Written for the informed, non-specialist observer ... a useful and wide-ranging book." -- Financial Adviser

About the Author

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 fur Sozialforschung in Berlin (W.Z.B.) 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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First Sentence
Industrial-relations systems in the advanced industrial countries are experiencing serious new strains as a result of intensified market competition and adjustment pressures. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A political economy classic 28 April 2006
Varieties of Capitalism poses a key question: why aren't all modern capitalist states the same? Haven't globalisation's cheerleaders been telling us for years that all economies will inevitably converge around the Anglo-Saxon deregulatory model? Actually, no. Germany, for instance, remains the world's top exporter and other states have found ways to thrive economically that don't involve aping the US.

Their secret, according to Hall and Soskice, is that they play to their institutional strengths. Institutions, in political economy terms, are the unwritten rules and signals that govern actors' behaviour, and they vary widely between different states. The institutions that underpin, for instance, the highly co-ordinated German economy produce a particular economic outcome, one that is very different from those at work in liberal market economies like the US. Moreover, these institutions reinforce each other. For instance, the German governments' commitment to worker training means firms are able to pursue product strategies based on high value goods. The hausbank system, whereby firms are controlled through interlocking shareholdings of banks, reinforces this long-term outlook.

Contrast this with the equity-finance structures of UK and US firms, which produce a more short-termist outlook that is better at innovation but necessitates product strategy based on lower quality, price-sensitive goods - the "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" approach of a lot of manufacturing there.

The essays in Varieties of Capitalism, together with the excellent and clearly written introduction by Hall and Soskice, explore these institutional linkages in all their complexity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars A great piece of work 3 Sep 2013
By L. Gent - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a seminal piece of work in the varieties of capitalism literature, and the fact that it is still being referenced today speaks to the value it has added to the field. Yes, the theory presented in it is lacking in a number of respects, however it remains a must-read for anyone researching in the field.
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