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Comparative Institutions and Globalization. Anne Wren (Stanford University) With critique by Tom Kenyon (Princeton University & IFC). Varieties of Capitalism (VOC). Can use VOC literature to derive policy preferences of firms and workers

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comparative institutions and globalization

Comparative Institutions and Globalization

Anne Wren (Stanford University)

With critique by Tom Kenyon (Princeton University & IFC)

varieties of capitalism voc
Varieties of Capitalism (VOC)
  • Can use VOC literature to derive policy preferences of firms and workers
  • VOC predicts existence of ‘complementarities’ across national economic sub-systems
  • Distinguishes two principal variants (coordinated and liberal market economies)
institutions and specialization
Institutions and Specialization
  • Different institutional environments favor different types of industrial specialization:
      • CMEs: favor long-term investment in skills and incremental innovation (autos, capital goods, engines)
      • LMEs: favor flexibility and radical innovation (software, biotech, telecoms)
operationalization
Operationalization?
  • How do we tell what a CME/LME-type firm looks like?
      • How do we measure ‘radical’ vs. ‘incremental’ innovation (Taylor 2004)
      • Sector, technological/skill intensity or stage of product cycle?
  • How do we tell what a CME/LME economy looks like?
grounds for skepticism
Grounds for Skepticism
  • CME/LME distinction questionable:
      • H&S categories do not hold up: countries switch over time & by organizational sub-type (e.g. Ireland)
      • H & S overstate extent of complementarities, see trend away from coordination since 1980
      • Need alternative indicator of coordination: continuous? by institutional sub-grouping?
to sum up
To Sum Up
  • VOC approach promising, but problematic to operationalize
  • Trade-off between theoretical sophistication and cross-national scope of application
  • Think more carefully about underlying complementarities outside OECD
  • Develop cross-national core and regional modules? (e.g. WB ICA)