IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Question marks over the west: Western world in decline — and still (largely) in denial

Listed author(s):
  • Jan Winiecki

    (University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszów Department of International Economic Relations Rzeszow Poland
    Tischner School of European Studies Cracow Poland
    Central Bank of Poland Monetary Policy Council Warsaw Poland)

Registered author(s):

    The main thesis of the article is that the Eurozone (EMU) crisis is not the main problem of Europe, or the West, but the long-term decline in economic growth. Institutional and policy distortions of the EMU only accelerated the day of reckoning, when the inevitable cuts to the oversized public (mostly welfare) expenditures will have to made. They will be even more necessary given demographic changes. The process of adjustment has encountered a lot of political and social resistance that is going to increase further in the years to come. These difficulties stem largely from the psychological consequences of the prolonged lack of linkages between efforts and results in the welfare state as perceived by its beneficiaries. The resulting learned helplessness syndrome makes it very difficult to proceed with the necessary downward adjustment — an absolute “must” if the West is going to reaccelerate economic growth and come out of the present quagmire relatively unscathed. The economic future of the West thus raises many question marks.

    If 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.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: subscription

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary in its journal Society and Economy.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 521-547

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:34:y:2012:i:4:p:521-547
    Note: This article is based on chapters 6 and 9 of the forthcoming book of the author entitled Economic Futures of the West (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar).
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal: Akadémiai Kiadó Zrt., Prielle K. u. 21-35. Budapest, 1117, Hungary
    Web: Email:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:34:y:2012:i:4:p:521-547. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vajda, Lőrinc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.