Chapter

Complex Causation and Contextualized Capitalisms

Michel Goyer

in Contingent Capital

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199578085
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731051 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578085.003.0004
Complex Causation and Contextualized Capitalisms

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The importance of institutions as a critical independent variable has been prominent in social sciences. Scholars working with an institutional perspective rarely advance the notion that only institutions matter for outcomes. Institutions are part of a phenomenon of complex causation whereby an outcome results from potentially different combinations of conditions. However, the focus on institutions as part of a process of complex causation working at the level of midrange theory is methodologically sound but obscures an important issue, namely the relative weight of different causal factors. This issue is particularly important since advanced capitalist economies have been responding in different ways to exogenous and endogenous challenges. This chapter illustrates how the institutionally based Varieties of Capitalism perspective provide superior insights for understanding the disparities in the investment allocation of short-term investors in France and Germany as compared to the institutionally based law and economics perspective.

Keywords: complex causation; law and economics; necessary conditions; sufficient conditions; varieties of capitalism

Chapter.  9574 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Corporate Governance

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