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Varieties of CapitalismThe Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage$
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Peter A. Hall and David Soskice

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247752

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199247757.001.0001

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National Varieties of Standardization

National Varieties of Standardization

(p.442) 14 National Varieties of Standardization
Varieties of Capitalism

Jay Tate

Oxford University Press

Both liberal and coordinated market economies engage in standardization, but the ease of ‘exit’ and the character of ‘voice’ differ. In a liberal market economy, firms tend to use standards opportunistically, whether in low‐end price competition or high‐end competition over intellectual property rights to radical innovations. Standards institutions compete for customers and operate for profit, and state actors are more likely to intervene directly to secure particular standards than to promote economy‐wide coordination. In a coordinated market economy, where defections and reliance upon market‐based de facto standardization are less common, firms rely on formal, pre‐competitive standards to weed out technically inferior solutions, minimize opportunities for price‐based competition, and facilitate relatively redictable strategies of incremental innovation. Standards institutions are run less like a profit centre and more like a shared economic infrastructure, which even state actors tend to utilize and extend.

Keywords:   coordination, European Union, harmonization, innovation, intellectual property, ISO 9000, price competition, standards, technical regulation

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