Polterovich V.M.: Competition, collaboration, and life satisfaction. Part 2. The fundament of leadership – collaborative advantage

Full Member of RAS Viktor Polterovich’s paper «Competition, Collaboration, and Life Satisfaction. Part 2. The Fundament of Leadership – Collaborative Advantage» is now published by Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 15(3), 42–57. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.3.81.2. DOI: 10.15838/esc.2022.3.81.2


The first part of the paper showed that the group of seven European countries leading in the life satisfaction index (happiness index) significantly outperformed other Western nations, including the United States, in the development of economic and political institutions. The Seven includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The second part examines what qualitative features of socio-economic and political mechanisms provide leadership. It is noted that attempts to explain this phenomenon by the low size of population and its homogeneity, as well as by the small area of these countries, are inadequate. The notion of collaborative advantages is introduced, understood as relatively more developed mechanisms of collaboration in the economic, social and political spheres. Based on three different classifications of types of capitalism and on an analysis of the history of countries of the Seven we show that they have reached the leading positions due to collaborative advantages. These countries are coordinated market economies, their economic systems are characterized as stakeholder capitalism, and their political systems are consensus democracies. The Seven of European Leaders carry out reforms aimed at improving collaboration mechanisms and, as a consequence, are less affected by the crisis of competitive institutions observed in Western societies. The presented results support the hypothesis that the strengthening of the role of collaboration mechanisms while reducing the importance of competitive mechanisms contributes to higher life satisfaction. The experience of the Seven is used by other developed European countries as well. The question of how our findings can be used in choosing a catching-up strategy is discussed.



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