ISBN-10:
0674962036
ISBN-13:
9780674962033
Pub. Date:
05/30/1997
Publisher:
Harvard
Worlds of Production: The Action Frameworks of the Economy

Worlds of Production: The Action Frameworks of the Economy

by Michael Storper, Robert SalaisMichael Storper

Hardcover

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Overview

This intellectually bold but accessible book seeks to go beyond limitations of the reigning neoclassical and institutional paradigms in explaining the organization of economic activity. It does this by construing "non-economic" factors such as institutions, cultures, and social practices as conventions, which coordinate economic actors by defining specific "frameworks of economic action." In these conventional frameworks, the standard distinction between economic and non-economic no longer exists. The authors explore in detail four basic frameworks--or "possible worlds of production"--which underpin the mobilization of economic resources, the organization of production systems and factor markets, patterns of economic decision making, and forms of profitability. The case studies examine how these possible worlds act to support innovative production complexes in a variety of sectors in several countries.

Storper and Salais show that economic actors coordinate actions with one another and interpret what others are doing in ways that are constructed by convention. The principal challenge to economic policy today, they argue, is to reconcile internally coherent conventions with the external tests of product and financial markets, which tend increasingly to escape jurisdictional borders. There is no single model of growth and efficiency that brings these two sides together around the world today, even in narrowly defined product markets. If policies are to deal effectively with an increasingly unified global system of flows of commodities, money, and people, they must be aware of the diverse, economically viable action frameworks found in different industries, regions, and nations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674962033
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 05/30/1997
Edition description: Subsequent
Pages: 370
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Michael Storper is Professor of Regional and International Development, School of Public Policy and Social Research, University of California, Los Angeles.

Robert Salais is Director of the Research Group on Institutions, Employment, and Economic Policy at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

Table of Contents

Theorizing Economic Diversity and Economic Action

Action and Diversity versus Models of Growth

Possible Worlds of Production

Firms, Profits, Work, and Innovation

Situating Firms in Worlds of Production

Worlds of Production in Three Countries

Identifying Real Worlds of Production in France, Italy, and the United States

France: Innovative Real Worlds of Fashion and High Technology

Italy: Interpersonal Action and the Division of Labor

California High Technology: The Intellectual World in a Market Context

Selection, Stability, and Transformation of Real Worlds of Production

Institutions, States, and the Coordination of Real Worlds

States and Institutions as Conventions

State Intervention: A Critique of the French Case

Competitiveness, Sutuated States, and Real Worlds in Three Countries

Conventions, Economic Action, and Institutions

A Critique of Contemporary Institutialism

Towards a Theory of Conventions, Economic Action, and Economic Development

Notes

References

Name Index

Subject Index

What People are Saying About This

Storper and Salais's framework of Worlds of Production enables them not only to make sense of the vast diversity currently observable throughout the world's industrial regions. It also provides a provocative explanation for the varying capacity of different national and regional industries to succeed in international competition. There are few books in contemporary social science that integrate high theoretical ambition with detailed empirical analysis as well as this one does.

Gary Herrigel

Storper and Salais's framework of Worlds of Production enables them not only to make sense of the vast diversity currently observable throughout the world's industrial regions. It also provides a provocative explanation for the varying capacity of different national and regional industries to succeed in international competition. There are few books in contemporary social science that integrate high theoretical ambition with detailed empirical analysis as well as this one does.
Gary Herrigel, University of Chicago

Philip Scranton

Worlds of Production represents a brilliant, timely and provocative effort to analyze the blizzard of shifting industrial formats and strategies in leading Western nations over the last generation. By reworking conceptual strategies and presenting a four-quadrant model of firm and sector environments, Storper and Salais make the familiar strange (at first), then give new coherence to the present melange of theoretical approaches to industrial change.
Philip Scranton, Rutgers University and Hagley Library

Customer Reviews