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Neoliberalism is a set of ideas and government policies that favor reducing market regulations, decentralizing states, and lessening state intervention into the economy in general. More specifically this means cutting taxes, especially for business and the wealthy, reducing social expenditures, particularly for the poor, and scaling back if not eliminating regulations on business and finance. Neoliberalism is not a coherent totality but rather a loose conglomeration of ideas and policy prescriptions from which actors pick and choose depending on their prevailing political, economic, social, historical, and institutional situations. Neoliberalism is important because since the late 1970s it has become a road map for many national governments around the world. This entry provides an overview of the origins of neoliberalism, its diffusion across countries, and the ...

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