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Economic Growth in Post-War Belgium


  • Cassiers, Isabelle
  • De Ville, Philippe
  • Solar, Peter


The growth of the Belgian economy since 1945 is surveyed with emphasis on the distinction between open and sheltered sectors. Relatively slow growth to around 1960 is explained by a move away from traditionally liberal industrial policies that began in the crisis of the 1930s, by the squeeze on open sector firms' profits in the 1950s that arose from the conjunction of social pressures for higher wages and deflationary monetary policy, and by weaknesses in innovation and new product development attributable to the system of corporate control. The subsequent acceleration in growth resulted from increased internal competition and greater technological and organizational transfers, both associated with membership of the European Community and substantial foreign direct investment. From the mid-1970s productivity growth in the open sector remained high but its overall growth has been hindered by cost increases resulting from an increasingly dysfunctional system of wage and income determination and from the deterioration of public finances.

Suggested Citation

  • Cassiers, Isabelle & De Ville, Philippe & Solar, Peter, 1994. "Economic Growth in Post-War Belgium," CEPR Discussion Papers 986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:986

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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Van Bavel, 2014. "The mid-twentieth century Baby Boom and the changing educational gradient in Belgian cohort fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(33), pages 925-962, March.
    2. Jong, Herman de & Soete, Antoon, 1999. "Comparative levels of labour productivity and labour costs in manufacturing in Belgium and the Netherlands, 1921-1990," CCSO Working Papers 199904, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    3. Ivo Maes, 2009. "The young Lamfalussy : an empirical and policy-oriented growth theorist," Working Paper Research 163, National Bank of Belgium.
    4. Erik Buyst, 2013. "The Interaction between Economic Theories and Policies in Belgium, 1944-2000," HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(1), pages 103-120.

    More about this item


    Belgium; Economic Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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