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The Economics of the Third Way

Experiences from Around the World

Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer

The ‘third way’ is a term often used by politicians and others to indicate a set of new policies adopted by former social democratic parties throughout the world. This book is an attempt to dissect the ideas and economic theory behind the rhetoric of the ‘third way’ through a critical evaluation of the experiences of ‘third way’ administrations in a diverse range of countries.
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Chapter 8: Distribution and growth: can the New Left deal with the neo-Schumpeterian 'accord'? Some comments on the French experience

Pascal Petit


CHAPTER 8 13/7/01 3:52 pm Page 1 8. Distribution and growth: can the New Left deal with the neo-Schumpeterian ‘accord’? Some comments on the French experience Pascal Petit 8.1 INTRODUCTION The sense of modernity, for example the combination of reasons, principles and representations on which a society forges its notion of social and technical progress, seems to have changed considerably since the golden age of capitalism. The Fordist growth that most western economies enjoyed more or less in the decades that followed World War II, did not result purely from the combined effects of the diffusion of a scientific Taylorist organisation of work with a sustained expansion in wages which expanded demand and led to cumulative growth. Alongside the other components of this growth process (of which monetary social transfers to households and public services were important parts), the quasi deal, balancing a more productive organisation of work with an increasing standard of living of the wage earners, was part of a more general ‘accord’ defining the broad guidelines of policies. What has been called the ‘conventions’ on full employment were major parts of this general accord. Within each country political parties, though part of the consensus, did not have the same view on its implementation. Right and left thus took opposing positions on the relative coverage and intensity of public services and transfers. Some more radical political parties did not share this consensus and took a revolutionary stance. The broad consensus led to the development of various welfare...

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