a1 Duke University
Much contemporary research in political economy has stressed the importance of the political power of the Left and the organization of labor on economic performance among the advanced industrial democracies. This paper argues that the impact of each variable on performance, operationalized as proportionate change in economic growth rates, 1974–1980, is conditional upon the relative presence or absence of the other. Specifically, encompassing labor organization is only positively associated with growth when accompanied by Left control of government, and Left governments only have a positive impact on economic growth when labor is highly and centrally organized. Conversely, when either variable is only weakly present, the impact of the other on economic growth is negative.