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Political Science Essays

Social Democracy, Capitalism, and Competition

A Manifesto

by (author) Marcel Boyer

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Essays, Economic Conditions, Macroeconomics
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

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Our social democracies and welfare states face economic and governance challenges that threaten their very survival. Against this backdrop, Social Democracy, Capitalism, and Competition argues that a true social democracy requires a clear definition and a refocusing of the roles of the public and private sectors.

Using his novel competition-based social democracy and new competition-based capitalism models, Marcel Boyer goes back to the basics. Returning to the foundational characteristics of what social democracy and capitalism are supposed to be, he reimagines how public and social goods and services – such as education, healthcare, and transport infrastructure – can be provided in a way that aligns with citizens’ best interests. Boyer shows how recent decades have witnessed a shift away from competition and competitive processes, toward more bureaucratic control of public and social goods and services and more ironclad protection of state providers against contestation by potentially competitive organizations. This crony capitalism results in loss of purpose, organizational inefficiency, and outcomes that increasingly deviate from their original objectives of social wellbeing. Boyer maintains that productivity gains, economic growth, and prosperity for all actually require a degree of income and wealth inequality.

Written with a facility that will appeal to anyone interested in public policy and economic reform, Social Democracy, Capitalism, and Competition is a book all governments should have on their reading list.

About the author

Marcel Boyer is Bell Canada Professor of Industrial Economics at the Université de Montréal and Vice-President and Chief Economist at the Montreal Economic Institute. He is presently fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, CIRANO, CIREQ, and the World Academy of Productivity Science, Academic Affiliate of The Analysis Group, member of the executive board of the Canadian Law and Economics Association, member of the board of the Agency for Public-Private Partnerships of Québec, member of the Industry Canada advisory committee on business strategies and innovation, member of the governance committee of the “Sustainable Development and Socially Responsible Investment Chair” (École polytechnique de Paris and Université de Toulouse). Professor Boyer currently conducts research in the areas of investment valuation (risk, flexibility, and real options); efficient organizations, innovation, and competition (competitive social democracy); incentives, incomplete information and uncertainty; and law and economics (environmental issues, copyrights, IPR). Professor Boyer has acted as expert economist on behalf of several national and international corporations and government organizations.

Marcel Boyer's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“This book is a spirited defence of capitalism , written by one of the leading authorities in the field. Its aim is to explain how economics, if used properly and fully understood, can enhance individual and social welfare. Social Democracy, Capitalism, and Competition will appeal to anyone interested in public policy and economics, and will be a very useful source of material for class discussion.” Michael Wickens, University of York

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