Understanding the Great Changes in the World: Gaining Ground and Losing Ground since World War II
This lecture interprets the great tectonic shifts in the global economy that I have witnessed since I began studying economics in the 1950s. There are three stories of gaining ground (``catching up") on the world's lead economy and one of losing ground. This experience can help us to get right our international macroeconomics: Progress and prosperity in a country are mainly driven by envisaged openings for innovation or imitation of new things, not human capital formation or tax cuts. The experience also help us get right the political economy of economic performance: Dynamism is not required for episodes of high growth: Any economy can grow fast up to its potential and enjoy temporary prosperity in the effort. Yet it cannot pull up to the productivity level nor sustain the prosperity of the lead economy without having the latter's dynamism. Dynamism requires that innovation be ample, aimed in good directions and finding managers and consumers open to novelty. Some dissenters deny the premise, claiming that the Continent could not have its ``glorious years" of rapid growth and high activity without commensurate dynamism: the two are yoked together. They view that rapid growth in Germany, France and Italy as the fruit of economies that in the '40s got back their dynamism back when Ludwig Erhard unshackled them from the corporatist institutions erected in the interwar years and that lost their dynamism in the '70s when interest groups reacquired their stranglehold on economic change. I take a simpler view. The glorious years were the result not of a brief rebirth of dynamism but rather the fortunate result of one-time opportunities to pluck at low cost the technologies and commercial successes developed in the U.S. and elsewhere overseas. My view need not suppose that the Continent has had much dynamism at any time since corporatist ideas took root in the late 1920s only enough to imitate or adapt overseas advances, plus long enough study of them. For the moment, such advances may be still be so new that such a modicum of dynamism is not yet sufficient to spark imitation.
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.
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.
Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.degruyter.com|
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/cas|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:capsoc:v:1:y:2006:i:2:n:3. 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: (Peter Golla)
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.