Article

Beyond Comparative Statics: Historical Institutional Approaches to Stability and Change In the Political Economy of Labor

Kathleen Thelen

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Institutional Analysis

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233762
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199233762.003.0003

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

 Beyond Comparative Statics: Historical Institutional Approaches to Stability and Change In the Political Economy of Labor

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This article considers the challenges confronting students of political economy in the contemporary period, which can be characterized as the task of moving from the analysis of comparative statics to a more genuinely dynamic model of institutional evolution and change. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of the varieties of capitalism (VoC) and ‘pragmatic constructivist’ (PC) approaches to the study of labour market institutions and political–economic change. The article also makes the case for an alternative historical–institutionalist framework for analysing institutions and institutional change that weaves together key insights from the VoC and PC literatures, but combines these in a way that avoids both the determinism of the former and the indeterminacy of the latter. It concludes by suggesting an agenda for research.

Keywords: political economy; comparative statics; capitalism; pragmatic constructivist; labour market

Article.  9371 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Research Methods

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