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A Modern Reader in Institutional and Evolutionary Economics

Key Concepts

Edited by Geoffrey M. Hodgson

In the 1990s, institutional and evolutionary economics emerged as one of the most creative and successful approaches in the modern social sciences. This timely reader gathers together seminal contributions from leading international authors in the field of institutional and evolutionary economics including Eileen Appelbaum, Benjamin Coriat, Giovanni Dosi, Sheila C. Dow, Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Uskali Mäki, Bart Nooteboom and Marc R. Tool. The emphasis is on key concepts such as learning, trust, power, pricing and markets, with some essays devoted to methodology and others to the comparison of different forms of capitalism. An extensive introduction places the contributions in the context of the historical and theoretical background of
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Chapter 10: Emergence of path-dependent mixed economies in Central Europe

Bernard Chavance and Eric Magnin


Bernard Chavance and Eric Magnin 1. CAPITALISM AND THE MIXED ECONOMY The notion of the ‘mixed economy’ has been the target of wide criticism. In the 1980s, the negative Hayekian assessment of interventionist policies in general and of mixed economy tendencies was revived, as part of the general questioning of the ‘Keynesian’ consensus that had dominated for years. When the post-socialist transformation began in Eastern Europe there was a strong free-market orientation by new governments (often with the active participation of economists who had been until the late 1980s proponents of a radical reform of the socialist economy). International influence too pushed in this direction – especially the IMF, whose leaders strongly and repeatedly asserted that a mixed economy model should be avoided in order to guide the ‘transition’. The shift of focus from a reform of socialism to a ‘transition to a market economy’ had in some countries, such as Poland, either been tacitly accepted in public opinion in the late 1980s, or took place during the big political change of 1989–90. The rejection of the ‘mixed economy’ was at that time part of the struggle of new pro-market forces against neocommunist or social-democratic tendencies in these societies (both trends often being confused in political debates). The opposition in principle by economic liberalism to the notion of the mixed economy has obscured the real nature and variety of types of capitalism, and the specific problems of systemic change in the post-socialist world. The concept of a ‘market...

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