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Capitalisms Compared

Capitalisms Compared
Welfare, Work, and Business

First Edition

September 2013 | 392 pages | CQ Press
How different would Americans’ lives be if they had guaranteed access to health care, generous public pensions, paid family leave, high-quality public pre-school care, increased rights at work, and a greater say in how corporations are run?

This one-of-a-kind book emphasizes that differences in policies and institutions affect the lives of citizens by comparing health, pension, and family policies, as well as labor markets and corporate governance in the United States, Sweden, and Germany. Demonstrating that the US model of capitalism is not the only one that is viable, Bowman encourages students not only to rethink their assumptions about what policy alternatives are feasible, but also to learn more about American capitalism through insightful contrast. Covering a wide range of policy areas and written in a crisp, engaging style, Capitalisms Compared is a perfect companion for courses in political economy and public policy.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Comparing Political Economies: Markets, Politics, and Institutions  
Welfare States: Welfare State or Social Security State?  
The Social Democratic Welfare State: Politics against Markets  
The Liberal Welfare State: Embracing the Market  
The Conservative Welfare State: Protecting Society from the Market  
“Varieties of Capitalism:” Business Institutions and Strategies  
Liberal Market Economies: Reaching for the Invisible Hand  
Cooperative Market Economies: Patient Capital and Non-market Coordination  
The plan of this book  
Chapter 2: Health Policy
Is Health Care a Commodity?  
Germany: Private Practice and Universal Coverage  
Basic Structure: Compulsory Non-profit Insurance  
Sweden: A Right to High Quality Health Care  
Basic Structure: County-level Provision of Services  
The United States: Incomplete Coverage through Private and Public Insurance  
The Private Welfare State in Health Care  
The Long Road to Health Policy Reform  
Present Structure: From Public Insurance to No Insurance  
Private insurance  
The Uninsured  
Comparing Systems and Outcomes  
Chapter 3: Pension Policy
Paying as You Go: Where Do Pensions Come From?  
Germany: Earnings-related Public Pensions  
Current Policy: The Shift away from Guaranteed Benefits  
Sweden: Public Pensions with “Notional” Accounting  
Current Policy: Introducing the Market to the Social Democratic Model  
The United States: A Public-Private Pension Mix with Precarious Retirement  
Social Security Today: A False Crisis  
Private Pensions: The Disappearing Promise  
Comparing Pension Systems and Outcomes  
Chapter 4: Family Policy
Bringing Families Back In  
Sweden: Paid Family Leaves and Universal Public Childcare  
Current Policy: Toward Gender Equality?  
Germany : Moving Beyond the Male Breadwinner Model  
Current Policy: Family Leaves, Cash Assistance, and Child Care  
The United States: Juggling Work and Family through the Market  
Current Policy: The Limits of Tax Breaks  
Comparing Policies and Outcomes  
Chapter 5: The Labor Market
Human Effort as a Commodity: The Distinctive Features of Labor Markets  
The “Two Faces of Unionism”: Are Unionized Firms more Efficient?  
The Structure of Collective Bargaining and the Logic Centralized Wage-setting  
Sweden: Flexible Centralization?  
The Historic Compromise  
Wage Bargaining in Contemporary Sweden  
Workplace Participation and Job Security  
Germany: Co-determination and Coordinated Bargaining  
Background and Overview  
Works Councils: Employee Representation on the Job  
Labor Market Organizations and Collective Bargaining  
Job Security and Labor Disputes  
The United States: Bargaining among Unequals  
The Rocky Path toward the Right to Unionize  
The Unionized Sector: Organization  
Wages, Benefits, and Protections: Comparing the Union and Non-union Sectors  
The Decline of Unions in the US  
Comparing Systems and Outcomes  
Chapter 6: Corporate Governance and Finance
In Whose Interests? Shareholders Versus Stakeholders  
The United States: Stock Market Capitalism Run Amok?  
From Public Service Corporations to Industrial Capitalism  
From Managerialism to “Shareholder Value”  
Germany: Patient Capital and Bank Control  
Postwar Corporate Governance: The Classic German Model  
The Reform of German Corporate Governance  
Sweden: Capitalist Enterprise without Capitalists?  
The Post-War Model of Corporate Governance in Sweden  
Swedish Corporate Governance in Transition?  
The Financial Crisis of 2008-2009 and Its Aftermath  
Chapter 7: The Viability of Alternative Forms of Capitalism
Globalization and the Economic Feasibility of Alternative Capitalisms.  
Neoliberalism and the Political Feasibility of Alternative Capitalisms  
Conclusion: But Not in the US?  

“The comparisons between the U.S., Sweden, and Germany, which retain great analytical clarity and sophistication throughout, are superbly structured. The detail on recent policy reform, in chapters such as pensions or the labor market, are an especially welcome component which has no real competitor text. The fact is that you cannot find any other book that is as comprehensive in making structured public policy comparisons to understand the rich variety of capitalistic models that the modern world economy is capable of producing.”

Jeffery Lewis
Cleveland State University

Capitalisms Compared provides, in a single source, an accessible, effective, and productive comparative analysis of the character and practical operation of different types of capitalism and, in so doing, details the main insights of the field of political economy and thereby addresses a noteworthy deficiency that currently plagues the extant scholarship. John Bowman has developed a text that is at the forefront of its genre. I would strongly recommend it not only to teachers of comparative public policy and political economy, but also to anyone interested in gaining a sound understanding of the field.”

Shaun Young
University of Toronto Scarborough

“I am quite impressed by the individual chapters on policy areas and countries, in their accessible and readable treatment of the subject, rich examples, and the right amount of detail. They reflect solid research and expert knowledge, especially in reference to the relevant empirical data and history of each of the three welfare states.”

Tomasz Inglot
Minnesota State University-Mankato

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