By Bruno Amable
This publication proposes a comparative research of recent capitalism. It identifies 5 types of smooth economies: the market-based economies, Asian capitalism, the Continental eu version, the social democratic economies, and the Mediterranean version. It provides their major institutional features and relates the various types their political and fiscal dynamics. The e-book additionally assesses the most probably way forward for the Continental eu version, creating a major contribution to the 'varieties of capitalism' debate.
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Extra resources for The Diversity of Modern Capitalism
The liberal model is characterized by INTRODUCTION 19 low and means-tested assistance, ﬂat-rate beneﬁts providing incentives to seek income from work, as well as the predominance of limited social-insurance plans. e. individuals can achieve a reasonably high standard of living without market participation and independently of family support. Finally, the conservative-corporatist model is committed to preserving status and providing solidarity within rather than between social groups and therefore does not redistribute as much as the social-democratic model.
The most often mentioned deﬁciencies of the Continental European model are the following. Labour-market rigidity would prevent labour-force adjustments and structural change and would be at the root of mass unemployment. A dwindling employed labour force would endanger social-protection systems which would be unable in themselves to prevent an increase in social exclusion, and would impose levels of taxation detrimental to the competitiveness of European territories. Bank-based ﬁnancial systems would be too rigid to allow the ﬁnancing of small, technologyintensive ﬁrms upon which the dynamism of the new technological paradigm is based.
The marketbased economies, the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, constitute a highly homogeneous cluster, which is opposed to the Mediterranean cluster (Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece) on an axis separating ‘ﬂexible’ markets (ﬁnancial and labour markets) from ‘rigid’ markets. A second dimension may be taken into account, which basically expresses the extent of social protection. The social-democratic model (Sweden, Finland, and Denmark) is located at one end of this axis, and the Asian model (Japan and Korea) at the other.