The Mediterranean economies are, on the one hand, peripheral in the management of the Eurozone; on the other, they are as densely regulated by political and social institutions as the core Eurozone economies. For this reason the Mediterranean model of capitalism displays a low degree of competitiveness compared to the hegemonic Continental model, but also when compared to more deregulated and cost-competitive economies such as the Eastern European and the Anglo-American ones. In the early ’90s, also the Nordic countries found themselves caught between those two roads to competitiveness that were unavailable to them, but their main solution was a strong investment in R&D and in innovation more generally. The Mediterranean countries, on the other hand, have been the laggards in the R&D investment; yet the author maintains that this is the only "narrow path" available to them to increase competitiveness and exit from the crisis.
Keywords: Capitalism, European social model, deregulated economies, economic crisis