As New Becomes Old
- The Cournot Centre series
Chapter 5: The Geography of the ‘New Economy’: The Diversity of Institutional Architectures
5. The geography of the ‘new economy’: the diversity of institutional architectures INTRODUCTION How should we proceed with an explanation of the economic and institutional determinants of membership in a virtuous circle of growth? Three methods would seem to be useful. The first consists of a sectoral analysis or better still a study of panel data for firms. Bear in mind that several analyses have confirmed the discriminatory role of ICT implementation wherever it has been associated with a flatter corporate hierarchy (Askénazy, 2002; Chapters 3 and 4 in the present book). The second method consists of developing theoretical models, built on microeconomic foundations. These provide the basis on which to determine whether a conjunction of two particular institutions can induce companies to make organizational choices which are complementary, that is perform better as a consequence (Amable et al., 2000a, 2000b). Given the technical and, as yet, exploratory nature of this approach, it is not one that will be pursued at present. A much simpler, and more illuminating, method consists of carrying out a systematic international comparison, thus answering a series of three important questions. Was the United States the only country to have entered a virtuous circle of growth during the latter half of the 1990s? Is intensive utilization, or production, of informational goods a necessary precondition for membership in such a regime? And if other countries share this trait with the United States, do they display the same institutions and forms of organization, or are there substantial...
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