PIPE - Papers on International Political Economy 19/2013
This research traces the sources of differences in national economic stimulus programs designed and set up in response to the economic crisis 2008/09. Based on a comparative case study of the stimulus programs of Germany and France, I argue that differences in the national configuration of the economies and not solely economic preconditions explain the diverging outcomes. Using Vivien Schmidt's Varieties of Capitalism-framework from 2002, I show that corporatist traditions still have a significant impact on policy outcomes in Germany whereas in France various interest groups have to cope with differing conditions for influence exertion. In fact, the balance between social- and business-supporting measures of the German stimulus program is a prime example of the German state as an enabling facilitator. The French stimulus program, that is significantly smaller in contrast to its German counterpart, exhibits a strong support of the industry reflecting the weak position of trade-unions vis-à-vis businesses and the state. Overall, the paper provides a comprehensive approach to comparativist policy-research by taking into account economic, institutional and political factors. It shall serve as the starting point for further research in the field of governmental interventions during the crises of the recent years.