Market Economic Systems

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Journal Of Comparative Economics


The new comparative economics focuses on individual institutions rather than considering the economic system as an entity. In this essay we argue that economic systems should be defined in terms of clusters of complementary or covarying institutions. A cluster analysis of OECD countries, using data on forty different economic institutions, shows that four economic systems can be used to characterize these countries in 1990. These systems had no significant impact on economic growth or inflation, but they did have an important influence on the distribution of income. An analysis of systemic change suggests that, up to 1990, the differences between economic systems became greater with economic development, while the differences between countries with the same economic system became less. (C) 2005 Association for Comparative Economic Studies. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Another version of this work is freely available as LIS Working Paper 404 in EconStor.

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