Journal Article

Towards a more dynamic theory of capitalist variety

Richard Deeg and Gregory Jackson

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 5, issue 1, pages 149-179
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online September 2006 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwl021
Towards a more dynamic theory of capitalist variety

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In this paper we analyse the comparative capitalisms literature, which encompasses several analytical frameworks, but shares common concerns in understanding the institutional foundations of diverse national ‘varieties’ of capitalism. One widespread weakness within this literature has been its static analysis and bias toward predicting institutional stability rather than change. Our contention is that introducing more dynamism into this literature must proceed on three distinct levels: the micro, meso and macro. On the micro level, it needs to develop a less deterministic view of institutions that incorporates a stronger understanding of how actors reshape institutions, not only as constraints on particular courses of action, but also as resources for new courses of action that (incrementally) transform those institutions. On the meso-level, it needs to specify more carefully the linkages among institutions and institutional domains and theorize how change in one affects change in the other. At the macro level, it needs to incorporate a compelling view of national and international politics that draws upon a theory of coalitional dynamics and the impact of particular rule-making processes that governs institutional reform in each nation.

Keywords: varieties of capitalism; institutional change; institutional complementarity; institutional political economy; governance; JEL classification: P51 comparative analysis of economic systems, P48 political economy, legal institutions, property rights, B52 current heterodox approaches: institutional, evolutionary

Journal Article.  12150 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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