1st Edition

The Political Economy of Mediterranean Europe A Growth Models Perspective

Edited By Luis Cárdenas, Javier Arribas Copyright 2025
    288 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Applying the demand-led growth models framework, this book examines the recent macroeconomic performance of the key Mediterranean economies - Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece - including the responses to the economic and financial crisis (2008), the debt crisis (2010) and the Covid-19 crisis (2020).

    As the book explains, the central idea of the growth model approach is that the widespread breakdown of the old labor institutions, such as the existence of strong unions, centralized wage bargaining, and the participation of the workforce in corporate governance, has led to a fall in the wage share and a rise in inequality in most advanced economies. Thus, the two main contemporary growth models are usually characterised as debt-led and export-led. In both models, the same processes that cumulatively drive growth, such as over-consumption, also simultaneously undermine the foundations on which this expansion takes hold.

    The book examines the extent to which these processes hold true for the Mediterranean economics and explore the key factors of their economies including productive capacity, growth of aggregate demand components, wage-led or profit-led regimes, personal income distribution, the foreign sector, the financial sector, labor relations, the labor market and welfare states. In particular, the book examines whether policy responses and state interventions in recent years have led to a divergence between the economies. To what extent are these changes transforming the existing growth models? Are we facing a change in the Mediterranean model or the disappearance of the Mediterranean bloc as a whole?

    This book marks a significant addition to the literature on the economics and politics of Southern Europe and the fields of political economy, comparative economics and macroeconomics more broadly.

    1. Understanding European Mediterranean economies: a growth models perspective

          Luis Cárdenas and Javier Arribas

    2. Labor productivity in Mediterranean economies: a tale of failed convergence in the EU

         Adrián Rial, Miguel A. Casaú  and Daniel Herrero

    3. Economic growth from the aggregate demand side: what drives the macrodynamic in Mediterranean countries?

           Luis Cardenas, Paloma Villanueva and Rubén Gonzálvez

    4. The evolution of demand regimes in Mediterranean countries: between wage devaluation and financial leverage

         Rubén Gonzálvez, Luis Cárdenas and Paloma Villanueva

    5. A Mediterranean model from a distributional perspective? Analyzing institutional conditionings and distributional outcomes in Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain

          Julián López Gallego and Celia Gil-Bermejo Lazo

    6. How did Mediterranean economies transit to export-led growth? An analysis of the determinants of international competitiveness

           Daniel Herrero, Walter Paternesi Meloni and Adrián Rial

    7. The evolution of the financial sector in Mediterranean economies

        Juan Rafael Ruiz

    8. Industrial relations systems in the Mediterranean: between deregulation, erosion and resilience

        Javier Arribas  and Luis Cárdenas

    9. Unemployment fluctuations and job creation dynamics in Mediterranean countries

          Luis Cárdenas and Daniel Herrero

    10. The evolution of welfare states in Mediterranean economies

          Juan Rafael Ruiz

    11. Transforming Mediterranean Economies: Challenges and Perspectives in the Era of Integration and Crisis

          Javier Arribas and Luis Cárdenas



    Javier Arribas holds a Ph. D. in Economics at the Universidad Complutense, Madrid. He currently works as Assistant Professor at the Universidad Complutense. The Ph. D. was funded by a doctoral research fellowship granted by the Madrid City Hall. He has been Visiting Lecturer and Visiting researcher in Quito (Ecuador) or Mar del Plata (Argentina). His research has been focused on public services and institutional economy. Together with Luis Cárdenas, he coordinated the book in Routledge titled “Institutional Change after the Recession: European Growth Models at the Crossroads”. He also is the author of the book “Economía y sostenibilidad: El debate de la gestión” with the collaboration of the public foundation ICO.

    Luis Cárdenas holds a PhD in Economics, he is Assistant Professor at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and Associate Researcher at the Complutense Institute of International Studies (ICEI). His research has focused on macroeconomic analysis and labor economics. First, the analysis of "growth models" on how institutions affect macroeconomic dynamics. In particular, the role of industrial relations as determinants of wages and its effects on aggregate demand and unemployment. Second, the determinants of labor segmentation and the effect of institutional change on the dualization of labor markets. It has been published in articles "Cambridge Journal of Economics", "Structural Change and Economic Dynamics", "British Journal of Industrial Relations", “The Economic and Labour Relations Review”, "International Labour Review", "Review of Keynesian Economics", “Journal of Economic Issues” or "Journal of Economic Studies", among others. As well as the coordination of a book in Routledge titled “Institutional Change after the Recession: European Growth Models at the Crossroads”.