© 2017

The Effects of Political Institutions on Varieties of Capitalism


  • Examines in depth a correlation established but unexplored in David Soskice's Varieties of Capitalism (2001)

  • Provides detailed analysis without over-specializing

  • Includes qualitative case studies of influential political regimes


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Matthew P. Arsenault
    Pages 1-16
  3. Matthew P. Arsenault
    Pages 61-78
  4. Matthew P. Arsenault
    Pages 79-102
  5. Matthew P. Arsenault
    Pages 141-170
  6. Matthew P. Arsenault
    Pages 171-181
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 183-204

About this book


This book identifies and explores the mechanisms linking political institutions and variation in capitalist systems. A strong correlation exists between varieties of political regimes and varieties of capitalism: majoritarian political regimes are correlated with liberal market economies (LMEs) and consensus political regimes are correlated with coordinated market economies (CMEs). Still, correlation is not causation. Empirical findings illustrate that partisanship and policy legacies, the number of political parties, electoral rules, and constitutional constraints are significant indicators of LMEs and CMEs. Arsenault finds that majoritarian institutions create an environment of adversarial politics and strong competition between actors, which makes credible commitment to nonmarket coordination mechanisms unlikely. Consensus institutions, on the other hand, promote an atmosphere of cooperation and coordination between actors, thus encouraging credible commitment to nonmarket coordination mechanisms. Qualitative case studies of Germany, Britain, and New Zealand confirm the quantitative findings and suggest that political regimes were instrumental in shaping the economic adjustment paths of these countries during the era of liberalization in the 1980s.


Capitalist Systems neo-corporatist capitalist divergence functionalism cross-sectional time series coordinated market liberal market

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Mount Aloysius CollegeCressonUSA

About the authors

Matthew P. Arsenault is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Mount Aloysius College, USA. He previously served as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking