The differential post-war performance of advanced capitalist economies has become an issue of such importance that it has generated a large and ever-growing academic literature of its own. Since 1945 the major economies have grown in different ways and at different rates; and so too have the literatures describing them. Traditionally, discussions of the determinants of economic competitiveness and growth were understood to be a monopoly of economists (and economic historians). Economic performance was not something that was thought to lie within the purview of other disciplines within the social sciences. More recently, however, that has changed. New literatures have emerged alongside, and to a large degree invisible to, mainstream economics. Political scientists, comparative industrial sociologists, radical geographers, management gurus, educationalists: all have added their voice to the big debate on the varieties of capitalism and their relative performance. There is in consequence now no shortage of explanation of why some post-war capitalist economies have performed better than others. There is however a shortage of agreement on those explanations, and an equivalent shortage of material that maps those disagreements for newcomers to them. It is with the provision of such a map that this chapter is primarily concerned.


Neoclassical Economic Capitalist Model Institutionalist Scholarship Methodological Individualism Growth Accounting 
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© David Coates 2005

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  • David Coates

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