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Corporatism and foul economic weather: Rational co-operation, comparative performance, and the Swedish case.

Sandlant, Richard A (1993) Corporatism and foul economic weather: Rational co-operation, comparative performance, and the Swedish case. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis examines corporatism from a rational cooperation, comparative and case study perspective. It analyses how corporatism distributes gains in "fair economic weather" and costs in "foul economic weather". Fair or foul weather outcomes are determined more by factors exclusive of the degree of corporatism. Corporatism aims to achieve a pareto-optimal exchange between three actors: Labour, Capital and Government, who confront collective action problems. Labour, in particular, is fragmented into high and low pay workers. Foul weather results in a relative inequality shift, and the iterative and centralised bargaining solutions to the prisoners' dilemma become much more susceptible to "insider-outsider" behaviour in foul weather. The analysis suggests that growth-based corporatism breaks down in foul weather, and reassesses the role of centralisation and encompassing group behaviour. The thesis examines corporatist performance in fair and foul economic weather empirically using cross-national data. A typology is defined and performance is compared in terms of economic indices and indices which reflect general societal welfare. Corporatism succeeds more in terms of sustaining employment and societal welfare than in terms of producing superior economic performance and avoiding foul weather. Sweden is identified as a critical case study of corporatism in foul weather. The evolution of Swedish corporatism is analysed and the operation of the model is shown to have been dependent on fair weather and the distribution of gains. Decentralisation of wage bargaining in Sweden provides strong support for the theorised impact of foul weather and insider-outsider problems of conditional cooperation involving high and low pay workers. But the Swedish system also makes a series of efficient adjustments to foul economic weather. Swedish comparative wage restraint performance is examined empirically and shown to be remarkably strong. It is not therefore possible to conclude that rational cooperation has broken down in Sweden.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, General
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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