In This Review

Rival Capitalists: International Competitiveness in the United States, Japan and Western Europe
Rival Capitalists: International Competitiveness in the United States, Japan and Western Europe
By Jeffrey A. Hart
Cornell University Press, 1993, 305 pp
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The body of this book comprises very good summaries of the ways Germany, France, Britain, Japan and the United States have handled their steel, auto and semiconductor industries. With these comparisons as evidence, Professor Hart argues that differences in national performance are largely shaped by the contrasts in the distribution of power among governments, business and labor. He says that some of these arrangements are "conducive to the creation and diffusion of new technologies and others are not." There are many good points in the book, but one wonders about a generalization that explains why Germany and Japan are at one end of the scale and Britain and the United States at the other. Nevertheless, this is a thought-provoking book, rich in material and clearly written.