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Postfordism as a Dysfunctional Accumulation Regime: A Comparative Analysis of the US, UK and Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)451-471
Number of pages21
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

King's Authors


The article seeks to reanimate the early regulation theory project of building Marxist political economy through the development of mid-range institutional theory. The concept of a mode of regulation – central to the Parisian wing of regulation theory – is rejected in favour of a distinction between functional and dysfunctional accumulation regimes. The Fordist regime of accumulation provided a unique institutional context allowing an extraordinary combination of high profits, rising real wages and strong GDP growth. In contrast, the postfordist regime is shown to be inherently dysfunctional, characterized by manifest tendencies toward stagnation and associated regressive trends in work and employment relations. A comparative analysis of profit rates, wage shares, growth rates and debt in the USA, UK and Germany shows that the single model of postfordism as a dysfunctional accumulation regime fits all three countries, although with important differences in forms of dysfunctionality.

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