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By Xiaoming Huang (eds.)

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2 Dynamic comparative advantage and wages The dynamic comparative advantage is gained and maintained on the difference between VAL and wages. Historically, real wages have increased in proportion to productivity growth. In the early phase of a new industry, wages may be higher than VAL. In such a case, capital cannot obtain profit. It requires promotion of infant industry protection for capital to invest in this dynamic industry. When a dynamic industry takes off, its VAL becomes higher than wages, and the higher growth rate of VAL than that of wages increases profits, and then the dynamic industry successfully becomes a leading industry.

First, there have been persistent efforts to frame the early modern economic development of Europe and its “offshore” countries, and the modern economic development of the rest of the world, as capitalism versus socialism, developed versus developing economies, and liberal model versus East Asian model economies. Even among countries within the “West,”11 there are tensions and debate over the “varieties of capitalism” (Streeck and Yamamura 2001; Miller 2005; Albert 1993; Hall and Soskice 2001; Hollingsworth and Boyer 1997; Shonfield 1965).

Comparative explanation of Japanese and Chinese experience of modern economic growth is provided in this historical framework of institutional evolution of the capitalist world system. I argue that all these different accumulation regimes and different national experiences of modern economic development are manifestations of the capitalist world system, and different phases of the evolution of it, driven by changes in dynamic comparative advantage and further in capital accumulation regime, punctuated by business, cyclical, and structural crises.

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