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Between rent-seekers and free-marketeers: The economic policy preferences and political influence of German and Swiss pharmaceutical multinationals and banks.

Baljer, Nico (2001) Between rent-seekers and free-marketeers: The economic policy preferences and political influence of German and Swiss pharmaceutical multinationals and banks. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyse the economic policy preferences and political influence of a sample of German and Swiss pharmaceutical multinationals and banks. Put differently, the goal is to examine whether these MNEs have the will, and the political clout, to promote a liberal economic order or whether they seek to distort, or even suspend, the free formation of prices. In a sense, this study is thus a two-step procedure: first, it will analyse the formation of MNEs' preferences and then, second, it will examine how these preferences translate into political influence and policy outcomes. The focus of the analysis will be on the home country and the EU level of policy-making during the period from 1985 to 1995. Economic policy preferences will be explained as the result of the interaction of three factors: the extent and nature of MNEs' internationalisation process, their business focus and sectoral characteristics. With regard to policy outcomes and MNEs' influence over them, it will be argued that also three factors need to be considered: interests, institutions that link MNEs to the policy-making process and changing economic and political circumstances, which affect perceptions of self interest and institutions. Particular focus will be on the impact of circumstances on the preferences of the government, the degree of opposition from other domestic groups and the extent to which MNEs can use their internationalisation process for political leverage. Regarding MNEs' economic policy preferences, it will be pointed out that both the six pharmaceutical MNEs and the six banks were generally supportive of free markets, although there were also a few grey areas. When it came to their political influence, the picture was less clear cut since the extent to which MNEs could shape policy outcomes varied not only between pharmaceutical MNEs and banks, but also across policy issues within the two sectors. In general, the proposed explanatory framework could explain many of these complexities, although there were a few exceptions and qualifications.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2876

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