Capitalism Reassessed

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Capitalism Reassessed provides a broad view of different types of advanced capitalist economic systems and is based on an empirical analysis of twenty-one OECD nations. The book looks at why capitalism developed in Western Europe rather than elsewhere. It shows the close influences of the cultural system on the economic system. The analysis compares the economic and social performance of the capitalist economic systems along a variety of economic and social criteria. It also analyzes how capitalism will change in the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This timely book delivers an intelligent yet accessible analysis of diverse contemporary capitalist economic systems. Which countries and systems are more productive, and where are people happiest? Is regulation the answer or the problem? Where is the world economy headed? Pryor gives careful and honest answers to these and many other questions.” – Avner Ben-Ner, University of Minnesota

“Capitalism Reassessed is vintage Pryor: By asking broad, important questions about the nature of capitalism and placing his answers in the context of a broad sweep of history, Pryor treads where few academic economists are still willing to go. And in bolstering his answers with masses of carefully collected data, Fred Pryor makes sure the answers he gives are closely tied to the empirical record. Readers who pick up Capitalism Reassessed will be able to take advantage of Fred Pryor’s erudition and get a very useful, quick tour of the system most of us inhabit.” – Gerald Epstein, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Although the term capitalism sees frequent use, competent comparative studies on its diverse forms are surprisingly rare. Filling a void in the literature, this well-crafted book surveys the historical origins of capitalism, characterizes its essential features and their interconnections, identifies its main varieties, and suggests how these varieties are likely to evolve in response to unfolding demographic and environmental challenges. Easy to follow throughout, Capitalism Reassessed can be read profitably by a broad range of educated audiences.” – Timur Kuran, Duke University

“Frederic Pryor has inspired and guided generations of students of economic systems, and this book is a significant addition to his illustrious academic career. Using an institutional comparative approach, he classifies 21 industrialized capitalist countries belonging to the OECD into four major types and then provides answers to key questions about capitalism and new insights on its nature, historical origins, diverse institutional organizations, cultural influences, economic performance, degree of happiness achieved, and future trends and directions. It is objective, devoid of ideological bias, supported by ample evidence, and clear and refreshing.” – Carmelo Mesa-Lago, University of Pittsburgh

“Between the class conflict of Karl Marx and the methodological individualism of Douglas North lies a gaping hole of knowledge on the origins, performance, drivers, and varieties of capitalism. Pryor’s Capitalism Reassessed is a bold, empirically grounded, readable, and smart effort to fill that void. The book will be of interest across the social sciences.” – William Milberg, New School for Social Research

"Frederic Pryor provides a far-reaching overview of the various approaches to capitalism based on empirical analysis of 21 OECD countries. With a bold and erudite approach, Mr Pryor surveys the historical origins of capitalism, explores why it developed in Western Europe more readily than elsewhere and investigates its cultural influences, economic impact and how it might change in the 21st century." - The Economist Intelligence Unit

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521190206
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederic L. Pryor received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. Although his primary base for more than 35 years has been Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, he has also taught or carried out research at the University of Michigan, the University of California, the University of Indiana, Yale University, and several universities in Switzerland and France. His academic writings include 13 books in the field of economic systems and more than 120 articles in professional journals. As a consultant, Professor Pryor has held a variety of positions for the World Bank, the State of Pennsylvania, the Danish government, several departments of the US government, the Soros International Economic Advisory Group, the Hoover Institution, the Brookings Institution, and the Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin. At present he is a Senior Research Scholar at Swarthmore College. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit institutions.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. What is capitalism?; 3. Origins of capitalism; 4. Varieties of capitalism in industrialized nations; 5. Cultural influences on the economic system; 6. Do some capitalist economic systems perform better than others?; 7. Happiness and capitalist economic systems; 8. How capitalism will change.

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