National Models of Capitalism, Institutional Change and the Financial Crisis: A quantitative study of national business systems in the fore- and aftermath of the financial crisis

Mikkel Pedersen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Institutional change have become a key issue in the Comparative Capitalism (CC) literature. The impact of international processes of liberalization, globalization, financialization and regional integration on national models of capitalism is increasingly being studied alongside other forms of incremental change processes. In doing so, the orthodoxy, which assumes stable and virtually unchanging national institutional configurations outside of systemic shocks resulting in critical junctures, is being challenged. This orthodoxy is particularly dominant in quantitative CC studies, which assume a large degree of institutional stability in their use of data. Employing Whitley's national business system framework, this thesis seeks to add to the CC literature on institutional change by applying cluster analysis to a longitudinal quantitative dataset covering 30 OECD economies, nine institutional indicators, and ranging from 2000-12. In doing so, it is able to study the institutional change impact of both gradual changes flowing from international change processes, and the financial crisis and European sovereign debt crisis as an international critical juncture. The quantitative analysis is complemented by a political analysis of developments since the onset of the financial crisis. I find four institutional configurations to be stable across the time period, and significant institutional change to trust, state dominance, the financial system score and union strength across the four identified business system types. Additionally, I find evidence of the divergence of state-organized business systems and of a slight degree of convergence between compartmentalized, collaborative, and Nordic business systems. In my political analysis, I find changes to the trajectories of the Greek, Japanese, and Irish business systems, while the trajectories of the US, German, French, and Nordic business systems are largely unchanged. Finally, I argue that international money markets and EU integration have severely limited the range of feasible choices available at the domestic political level.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages73