Varieties of Capitalism

Jennifer Watts

Research output: Working paper

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The temporary staffing industry has experienced significant growth across the globe in recent years, making it one of the largest private employers in the world in 2007 (CIETT, 2009). Given this industry is experiencing such widespread growth and becoming increasingly global, questions remain about how best to understand national markets, and how this affects the operation of the industry within them. One area of literature which addresses the concept of different national systems is Varieties of Capitalism which introduces the ideas of ‘institutional complementarities’ to account for co-ordination of actors within an economic system. This Working Brief provides an overview of the varieties of capitalism perspective by outlining some of its key features, the main criticisms, and alternative approaches to considering national systems of economic organisation. Overall, this Working Brief argues that the Varieties of Capitalism approach provides some insight into the ideas surrounding the comparative study of capitalist systems, however, criticisms of being too static, failing to account to regional diversity, overreliance on the firm, a distinct focus on the national, and the absence of labour from its discussions indicate that it is inherently flawed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGeographies of Temporary Staffing Website
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Varieties of Capitalism
  • Capitalism
  • National economic systems


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