Skip navigation

Marketization, inequality, and institutional change

Marketization, inequality, and institutional change

Greer, Ian and Doellgast, Virginia (2013) Marketization, inequality, and institutional change. [Working Paper]

WERU5_Greer_Doellgast_working_paper.PDF - Draft Version

Download (368kB)


This paper develops a theoretical framework for analyzing the social effects of marketization. We define marketization as the imposition or intensification of price-based competition. It includes a wide range of phenomena, such as outsourcing, privatization, active labor market policies, and the international integration of markets for goods services, capital, and labor. Our central proposition is that the diverse forms that marketization takes have the common effect of increasing economic and social inequality via their effect on non-market institutions. We propose two mechanisms of institutional change. First, the means used by economic elites to seek influence shifts from voice to exit, leading to the 'disorganization' of the non-market institutions of industrial relations and welfare provision, or the erosion of their democratic and redistributive functions. Second, economic activity shifts away from production and toward extraction, leading to the expansion of new forms of undemocratic private and public regulation. We conclude that assumptions of efficiency seeking and societal embedding commonly used to analyze the expansion of markets need to be loosened in order to study this process.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: marketization, inequality, institutional change, institutional disorganization, private regulation,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2019 14:28

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics