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Understanding West German economic growth in the 1950s

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  • Eichengreen, Barry
  • Ritschl, Albrecht

Abstract

We evaluate explanations for why Germany grew so quickly in the 1950s. The recent literature has emphasized convergence, structural change and institutional shake-up while minimizing the importance of the post-war shock. We show that this shock and its consequences were more important than neoclassical convergence and structural change in explaining the rapid growth of the West German economy in the 1950s. We find little support for the hypothesis of institutional shakeup. This suggests a different interpretation of post-World War II German economic growth than features in much of the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Eichengreen, Barry & Ritschl, Albrecht, 2008. "Understanding West German economic growth in the 1950s," Economic History Working Papers 22304, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22304
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    Cited by:

    1. Gregori Galofré-Vilà & Martin McKee & Christopher M. Meissner & David Stuckler, 2016. "The Economic Consequences of the 1953 London Debt Agreement," NBER Working Papers 22557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Madsen, Jakob B., 2010. "Growth and capital deepening since 1870: Is it all technological progress?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 641-656, June.
    3. Braun, Sebastian & Kvasnicka, Michael, 2014. "Immigration and structural change: Evidence from post-war Germany," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 253-269.
    4. Braun, Sebastian & Weber, Henning, 2016. "How do regional labor markets adjust to immigration? A dynamic analysis for post-war Germany," Kiel Working Papers 2025, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Sebastian Braun & Michael Kvasnicka, 2012. "Immigration and Structural Change – Evidence from Post-war Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0345, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0345 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Boldyrev, Roman & Nevskiy, Sergei, 2014. "Monetary reforms in post-war Germany (1948): preparation, conduct, outcome (conclusion)," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, pages 25-53, December.
    8. Boldyrev, Roman & Nevskij, Sergei, 2014. "Monetary reforms in post-war Germany (1948): preparation, holding, results," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, pages 38-65, October.

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    Keywords

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    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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