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The Assessment: The Twentieth Century--Achievements, Failures, Lessons

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  • Boltho, Andrea
  • Toniolo, Gianni

Abstract

The past century saw unprecedented rises in life expectancy and living standards. It also witnessed major structural changes, the rise of "big government" and two globalizations. Yet, the century's economic history was marred by policy and market failures resulting in a massive world-wide depression, frequent financial crises (particularly in the developing world), and several inflation spurts. Central planning set back development for one-third of the world's population; transition to the market economy was at best slow, in some instances disastrous. Income distribution within countries changed little, while productivity convergence between rich and poor economies was virtually absent. Policy-making learnt some lessons from the 1930s experience, particularly in the areas of macroeconomic management, international cooperation, and free trade. Dogmatic recipes, however, were often resorted to at home, aided and abetted by the pretensions of the economics profession. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 15 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
Pages: 1-17

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:15:y:1999:i:4:p:1-17

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Cited by:
  1. Hillebrand, Evan, 2008. "The Global Distribution of Income in 2050," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 727-740, May.
  2. John A. List & Haiwen Zhou, 2007. "Internal Increasing Returns to Scale and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. K. H. O'Rourke, 2001. "Globalization and Inequality: Historical Trends," CEG Working Papers 20015, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  4. Svedberg, Peter, 2002. "Income Distribution Across Countries: How is it Measured and What Do the Results Show?," Seminar Papers 698, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Stewart, Frances, 2006. "Do We Need a New 'Great Transformation'? Is One Likely?," Working Paper Series RP2006/36, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Bigsten, Arne & Levin, Jorgen, 2001. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty: A Review," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Does Globalization Make the World More Unequal?," NBER Working Papers 8228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Nicholas Crafts, 2004. "The world economy in the 1990s: a long run perspective," Economic History Working Papers 22334, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  9. Branko Milanovic, 2005. "Global Income Inequality: What It Is And Why It Matters?," HEW 0512001, EconWPA.
  10. Nino-Zarazua, Miguel & Roope, Laurence & Tarp, Finn, 2014. "Global interpersonal inequality: Trends and measurement," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  11. Mark Rogers, 2003. "A Survey of Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(244), pages 112-135, 03.
  12. Thomas Goda, 2013. "Changes in income inequality from a global perspective: an overview," Working Papers PKWP1303, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
  13. Svedberg, Peter, 2003. "World Income Distribution: Which Way?," Seminar Papers 724, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.

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