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A la recherche du tant perdu

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  • Dominique Guellec

Abstract

[fre] Pourquoi la croissance a-t-elle été moindre au cours des vingt-cinq dernières années que durant les Trente Glorieuses ? Quelles sont les conséquences de ce ralentissement sur le fonctionnement des économies ? La thèse avancée dans cet article est celle d'un retour des économies occidentales sur la frontière technologique, situation similaire à celle du dix-neuvième siècle, après six décennies de crise puis de rattrapage. Les institutions qui ont été efficaces dans les conditions du rattrapage, regroupées sous le label de « l'économie administrée », trouvent leurs limites dans une situation où l'innovation, notamment technologique, est à nouveau le moteur de la croissance. Une croissance fondée sur l'innovation appelle une plus forte concurrence sur les marchés des biens, des capitaux et du travail, en même temps qu'elle engendre une plus grande turbulence micro-économique et un niveau plus élevé d'inégalités de revenus. Les crises politiques, financières ou sociales de la première moitié du vingtième siècle étaient directement ou indirectement liées à la prégnance du mécanisme de marché. Le retour de celui-ci appelle donc la mise en place de mécanismes correctifs propres à éviter que l'histoire ne se répète. [eng] Why was economic growth slower for the last 25 years than in the post war era ? What are the consequences of this slowdown on the way economies work ? This article argues that western economies are back on the technological frontier, as they were in the nineteenth century, after sixty years of trouble and catch-up. The institutions which worked efficiently in the catch up conditions, named « regulated economy », are inefficient in a situation in which innovation, notably technological innovation, is again the engine of growth. Innovation-based growth calls for more intensive competition on the goods, capital and labour markets, it generates more micro-economic turbulence and higher income inequalities. Political, financial or social crises of the first half of the twentieth century were directly or indirectly related to the dominance of the market mechanism. Only the setting up of correcting mechanisms may avoid that history now repeats itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique Guellec, 1999. "A la recherche du tant perdu," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 14(1), pages 117-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_1999_num_14_1_1075 Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.1999.1075
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.3406/rfeco.1999.1075
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arrondel, Luc & Laferrere, Anne, 2001. "Taxation and wealth transmission in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 3-33.
    2. Didier Blanchet & Bertrand Villeneuve, 1997. "Que reste-t-il du débat répartition-capitalisation ?," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(2), pages 157-174.
    3. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 185-202.
    4. Lindbeck, A., 1994. "Uncertainty under the Welfare State - Policy Induced Risk -," Papers 576, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    5. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
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    1. Dominique Guellec, 2001. "Les politiques de soutien à l'innovation technologique à l'aune de la théorie économique," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 150(4), pages 95-105.

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