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Varieties of Capitalism

Can a country switch from one form of capitalism to another? The Economist's Britain politics correspondent Jeremy Cliffe investigates.

What is the best form of capitalism? The free-market form found in countries such as the UK and the United States, or the more collaborative model which is common across Northern Europe?

Some British politicians, from both the left and right, are somewhat starry-eyed when it comes to the way other countries run their economy and have even suggested the UK could improve its lot by importing practices found across Scandinavia and Germany. But is that remotely possible?

In this edition of Analysis, Britain politics correspondent for The Economist Jeremy Cliffe investigates the different forms of capitalism defined by the Varieties of Capitalism school - most-famous for the book of the same name published in 2001.

He begins by working out what makes a 'Liberal Market Economy' and a 'Coordinated Market Economy', and then digs deeper to find out how these different models formed in the first place.

He discovers a deep web of intertwined government institutions which have been shaped over decades and centuries by each individual country's culture. It turns out that transplanting a different way of doing things from one country to another is just not that simple - but does that mean politicians should just give up trying to do something different?

Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 29 Jun 2014 21:30


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