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Enlarging the Varieties of Capitalism: The Emergence of Dependent Market Economies in East Central Europe

  • Andreas Nölke (a1) and Arjan Vliegenthart (a2)

This article enlarges the existing literature on the varieties of capitalism by identifying a third basic variety that does not resemble the liberal market economy or coordinated market economy types. The dependent market economy (DME) type, as it is named by the authors, is characterized by the importance of foreign capital for the socioeconomic setup and is located in postsocialist Central Europe. Since the collapse of state socialism in the late 1980s, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and the Slovak Republic have introduced a rather successful model of capitalism when compared with other postsocialist states. This article identifies the key elements of the DME model and discusses their interplay. DMEs have comparative advantages in the assembly and production of relatively complex and durable consumer goods. These comparative advantages are based on institutional complementarities between skilled, but cheap, labor; the transfer of technological innovations within transnational enterprises; and the provision of capital via foreign direct investment.

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World Politics
  • ISSN: 0043-8871
  • EISSN: 1086-3338
  • URL: /core/journals/world-politics
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