Close window
  MPIfG Scholar in Residence Lectures


MPIfG Scholar in Residence Lectures 2015-2016 by Lucio Baccaro


> more: Scholar in Residence Website


The Growth Model Perspective on Comparative Capitalism

Lucio Baccaro’s MPIfG lectures focus on “growth models.” At present, all comparative political economy schools acknowledge liberalization as a trend affecting every type of capitalism one way or another. However, they differ in their analyses of the different trajectories of liberalization. Borrowing from Post-Keynesian and Neo-Kaleckian macroeconomics, the growth models perspective explored in the lectures emphasizes the driving role of various components of aggregate demand, the impact of distribution (both functional and personal), and the composition and price-sensitivity of exports. Growth models emerge from distributive conflict, often as unintended consequences, and last as long as the supporting social coalitions do. While much less stable than game-theoretic equilibria, they act as constraints on policy, at least for some time. The lectures examine the nature and changes of growth models in Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the UK, and focus specifically on the German and Italian experiences.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015 | 5 p.m.

Rethinking Comparative Political Economy: Growth Models and Distributive Dynamics

Based on joint work with Jonas Pontusson, this lecture introduces the growth model perspective and distinguishes it from other paradigms in comparative political economy, particularly the “Varieties of Capitalism” one. With growth models, the role of aggregate demand – its size and composition – returns to center stage and is linked to distributional shifts. The distinction between consumption- and export-led growth is developed, and conditions for reconciling both types of growth, at least temporarily, are identified. Furthermore, the pattern of co-evolution of growth models and inequality patterns is explored.




Wednesday, October 14, 2015 | 5 p.m.

Weakening Institutions, Hardening Growth Model: The Liberalization of the German Political Economy

Based on joint work with Chiara Benassi, this lecture analyzes the trajectory of the Germany political economy, with a focus on the industrial relations system. It argues that the German growth model is shifting from a balanced growth model, in which exports and household consumption contribute more or less equally to growth, to a solely export-led one. In addition, exports have become more price-sensitive, and this has put pressure on export-oriented firms to cut costs. These pressures contribute to the ongoing shrinking of industry-level collective bargaining and to the widening gap between core and peripheral workers.




Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | 5 p.m.

Tying Your Hands … and Getting Stuck: The Italian Political Economy under the “External Constraint” Regime

About 35 years ago, the Italian economic and intellectual elites decided that the country’s prosperity hinged on tying it tightly to the European mast. The exchange rate regime became inflexible – a process culminating in the single European currency – while the labor market regime became increasingly more flexible. Three and a half decades after, it seems fair to say that the composite of reform has failed. Inflexible exchange rates, combined with an outdated specialization profile, have hindered the expansion of exports, while labor market flexibilization has negatively affected labor productivity. In turn, insufficient growth of nominal income has exacerbated the public debt problem. Both Italy and Europe are in serious need of a rethink.



Important publications
  • Similar Structures, Different Outcomes: Corporatism’s Surprising Resilience and Transformation. In: Review of Keynesian Economics 2(2), 207-233 (2014).
  • A Common Neoliberal Trajectory: The Transformation of Industrial Relations in Advanced Capitalism (with C. Howell). In: Politics and Society 39, 521-563 (2011).
  • Labor, Globalization, and Inequality: Are Trade Unions Still Redistributive? (with M. Simoni). In: Research in the Sociology of Work 22, 213-285 (2011).
  • Organizational Determinants of Wage Moderation. In: World Politics 63, 341-376 (2010).
  • Policy Concertation in Europe: Understanding Government Choice (with M. Simoni). In: Comparative Political Studies 41, 1.323-1.348 (2008).
  • Institutional Determinants of Unemployment in OECD Countries: Does the Deregulatory View Hold Water? (with D. Rei). In: International Organization 61, 527-569 (2007).






Close window