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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes changes in the political economy of seven small European corporatist countries from the Golden Age to the twenty-first century. The state controlled capital movements, set central bank policy, provided low interest rates for business, and, sometimes, owned major portions of the manufacturing sector. After the break up of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, the state in the Nordic countries (and less so in the Netherlands) withdrew from such involvement, increasingly investing instead in education and training, the dividend of which was a highly qualified workforce. In this chapter, we analyze the transformation of the corporatist political economies of Northern Europe, examining the concept of corporatism—contrasting postwar corporatism with corporatism today—and highlighting the institutional innovations in corporatist countries since the 1980s.

Keywords: corporatism, social wage, Keynesianism, economic growth, employment, Northern Europe, neocorporatism, varieties of capitalism, social investment, knowledge-intensive service economy

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