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'Managed' v 'market capitalism': the record

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Abstract:

From the early 1980s, the British economy became the subject of an all-embracing economic experiment. Regulations were swept away, corporate and top income tax rates axed and markets were given more freedom. Although this shift to 'market capitalism' was applied most strongly in the United Kingdom and the United States, weaker versions were eventually introduced across much of the rich world.

This audit of the records of 'managed' and 'market capitalism' shows that on only one count – curbing inflation – can the post-1980 era be judged a clear success. On all other counts, the economic record of market capitalism has been inferior. Growth and productivity rates have been slower, unemployment levels higher. As the proceeds of growth have been very unequally divided, the wealth gap has soared, without the promised pay-off of wider economic progress. Financial crises have become more frequent and more damaging in their consequences.

Keywords: ECONOMIC LIBERALISATION; GROWTH; INEQUALITY; MARKET CAPITALISM; REGULATION; UNEMPLOYMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3898/136266211798411200

Publication date: November 24, 2011

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