Switzerland.s Rise to a Wealthy Nation: Competition and Contestability as Key Success Factors
AbstractThis paper argues that economic competition and political contestability are two key determinants of the successful development of the Swiss economy in the nineteenth and twentieth century. We describe how Switzerland evolved from a relatively poor country with no natural resources and net emigration in 1800 to one of the richest countries of the world two hundred years later. Based on quantitative and qualitative evidence, we argue that early internationalization, open and flexible markets as well as a high degree of competition were crucial for the development of the Swiss economy. In addition, the Swiss political system with its direct democratic elements and the implemented principle of subsidiarity created political contestability that maintained government efficiency and led to political stability throughout history. The combination of these elements seems to explain the Swiss success, but also to make it difficult for other
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Research Paper RP2009/25.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Switzerland; development; growth; competition; contestability;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- António Afonso & Ludger Schuknecht & Vito Tanzi, 2005.
"Public sector efficiency: An international comparison,"
Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 321-347, June.
- Afonso, António & Schuknecht, Ludger & Tanzi, Vito, 2003. "Public sector efficiency: an international comparison," Working Paper Series 0242, European Central Bank.
- Petra Moser, 2005.
"How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World's Fairs,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1214-1236, September.
- Petra Moser, 2003. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World Fairs," NBER Working Papers 9909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wolfram Merzyn & Heinrich Ursprung, 2003.
"Voter support for privatizing education : evidence on self-interest and ideology,"
Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor
03-05, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
- Merzyn, Wolfram & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2005. "Voter support for privatizing education: evidence on self-interest and ideology," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 33-58, March.
- Wolfram Merzyn & Heinrich Ursprung, 2003. "Voter Support for Privatizing Education: Evidence on Self-Interest and Ideology," CESifo Working Paper Series 999, CESifo Group Munich.
- Kugler, Peter & Weder di Mauro, Beatrice, 2004.
"International Portfolio Holdings and Swiss Franc Asset Returns,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Peter Kugler & Beatrice Weder, 2004. "International Portfolio Holdings and Swiss Franc Asset Returns," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(III), pages 301-325, September.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
- Peter Kugler & Beatrice Weder, 2004. "International Portfolio Holdings and Swiss Franc Asset Returns," Working papers 2004/08, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
- Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
- Singh, Nirvikar, 2009.
"India's Development Strategy: Accidents, Design and Replicability,"
Working Paper Series
UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Singh, Nirvikar, 2008. "India’s Development Strategy: Accidents, Design and Replicability," MPRA Paper 12453, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruck Tadesse).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.