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Sex and markets

The Anglo-American free market versus the continental model may be a battle of the sexes

By Madsen Pirie   May 2000

Since the collapse of the planned economy there have been two types of market economy on offer in Europe. The struggle between them is seen as a contest over social values.

The “Anglo-American” model is competitive, risk-taking and aggressive. Firms seek to expand at the expense of their rivals, and to move into new markets whenever possible. The tension between bankers and shareholders, between investors, employees and customers, is a dynamic one held in check only by the presence of competitors and by the rules which try to channel the aggression into acceptable outlets.

The alternative, the “continental model,” stresses…

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