Volume 44, Number 173,
April-June 2013
Towards a New Development Model?
from a Regulatory Perspective. Argentina 2003-2010
Ignacio de Angelis, Mariana Calvento and Mariano Roark
REGULATION THEORY AS A FRAMEWORK TO EVALUATE DEVELOPMENT

The birthplace of the regulation school is France, at the beginning of the 1970s, arising at the start of the “crisis decades” for capitalism (Hobsbawm, 2003: 408). The first members of the regulation school came out of the Parisian research group Centre d’Etudes Prospectives d’Economie Mathématique Appliquées a la Planification (cepremap). Some of the most renowned among them include Michel Aglietta, Alain Lipietz and Robert Boyer.

Following Boyer, we can identify some of the central themes of regulation theory, which in principle went hand in hand with the study of the 1973 capitalist crisis and later, mainly due to the new dynamics of capitalism, was diversified into a set of more complex questions seeking to identify the base institutions that are necessary and sufficient to characterize capitalism, and from there understand the capitalist functioning and cycles to reveal its transformation, whether by selection and efficiency (as the classical approaches claim) or by intervention and policy (Boyer, 2007: 13-14).

In this way, the regulation school was established on the basis of “the re-foundation of critical thought,” which had been weakened prior to the 1970s by the resurgence of neoliberal orthodoxy and the Marxist crisis (Bustelo, 1994: 150) The regulation school was born differentiating itself from neoclassical orthodoxy by including elements from two heterodox schools of thought. On the one hand, it is inspired by Marx’s work and interpretations regarding capitalist functioning, and on the other hand, it draws on concepts from the Keynesian heterodox theory and the importance of this perspective for institutions. As such, the regulation school emerges as a multidisciplinary approach, mainly based on historical and economic factors, but also drawing on sociology, political science, law and labor relations, among other fields.

The development model is a central focus of analysis in the regulation school, conceived of as the result of “the specific articulation of a capital accumulation regime and a regulation mode within each social formulation” (Neffa, 2006: 302).

Two fundamental concepts arise from this description: accumulation regimes (such as production and consumption systems) and mode of regulation. We define accumulation regime as the growth scheme of a national economy for a certain time period, determined fundamentally by social production relations, reproduction and exchange (Neffa, 2006: 280). The accumulation regime contains “the set of regulations that ensure a general and relatively coherent process of capital accumulation that allows for reabsorption and postponement of imbalances and distortions inherent to the process itself” (Boyer and Selliard, 1997: 201). The accumulation regime is thus established based on the historical and social conditions of economic and political configurations. Regulation theory therefore analyzes the reality of productive structures and social organization; in other words, productive and financial conditions, commercial relations and forms of labor organization.

The regulation mode refers to the social rules and norms that control and determine the accumulation regime, mainly through interaction with various participating economic and non-economic agents. This generates a set of norms on which functioning is based to allow for long-term adjustment of the dynamics and conditions of production and consumption. The regulation mode will be determined by the institutional and structural forms that promote, condition or restrict societal behavior, encouraging the reproduction of a dominant structure and fundamental social relations (Boyer, 2007: 63).

Regulation school authors agree on the identification of five fundamental forms of regulation that should be studied to characterize a development model. These are as follows: monetary form and regime, market forms and dynamics, the role of the State in development strategy, interaction with the international system, both in terms of insertion in the productive structure of the global market as well as adherence to the international regime that regulates multilateral relations, and finally, salary relations as a broader configuration of the capital/labor relation.

Analyzing these structural forms of the regulation mode allows us to reach a broader understanding of development strategy and its impact on a society. To measure these changes and provide a more thorough analysis of the variables that suggest the start of a development conversion process, we briefly explore the main features that led to the crisis of the neoliberal model. Later, we focus on analyzing the new period starting with transformations to the regulation mode and its scope in the accumulation regime.

Published in Mexico, 2012-2017 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 48, Number 191, October-December 2017 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Alicia Girón González. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: Nov 13th, 2017.
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