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European Economy since 1945 Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond

ISBN-10: 0691138486
ISBN-13: 9780691138480
Edition: 2007
List price: $37.50
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Description: In 1945, many Europeans still heated with coal, cooled their food with ice, and lacked indoor plumbing. Today, things could hardly be more different. Over the second half of the twentieth century, the average European's buying power tripled, while  More...

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Book details

List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/21/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 520
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

In 1945, many Europeans still heated with coal, cooled their food with ice, and lacked indoor plumbing. Today, things could hardly be more different. Over the second half of the twentieth century, the average European's buying power tripled, while working hours fell by a third.The European Economy since 1945is a broad, accessible, forthright account of the extraordinary development of Europe's economy since the end of World War II. Barry Eichengreen argues that the continent's history has been critical to its economic performance, and that it will continue to be so going forward. Challenging standard views that basic economic forces were behind postwar Europe's success, Eichengreen shows how Western Europe in particular inherited a set of institutions singularly well suited to the economic circumstances that reigned for almost three decades. Economic growth was facilitated by solidarity-centered trade unions, cohesive employers' associations, and growth-minded governments--all legacies of Europe's earlier history. For example, these institutions worked together to mobilize savings, finance investment, and stabilize wages. However, this inheritance of economic and social institutions that was the solution until around 1973--when Europe had to switch from growth based on brute-force investment and the acquisition of known technologies to growth based on increased efficiency and innovation--then became the problem. Thus, the key questions for the future are whether Europe and its constituent nations can now adapt their institutions to the needs of a globalized knowledge economy, and whether in doing so, the continent's distinctive history will be an obstacle or an asset.

Barry Eichengreen is George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Capital Flows and Crises (MIT Press, 2002) and other books.

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Mainsprings of Growth
Probing Deeper
Institutional Foundations of the Golden Age
Institutions and History
The End of the Golden Age
The Postwar Situation
The Transition to Sustained Growth
Normalization and the Political Economy of the Marshall Plan
German Economic and Monetary Reform
Obstacles to Integration
The 1949 Devaluations
The European Payments Union
Dawn of the Golden Age
Understanding Growth in the 1950s
Germany as Pacesetter
Next in Line
The Laggards
Toward the Golden Age
Eastern Europe and the Planned Economy
The Strategy of Central Planning
Problems of Central Planning
Partial Reforms
Planning Innovation
Regional Integration
The End of Reform
The Integration of Western Europe
Initial Steps
EFTA and the British Dilemma
Economic Effects
The Common Agricultural Policy
The Luxembourg Compromise
Inklings of Monetary Integration
The Common Market as an Established Fact
The Apex of the Golden Age
The Heyday of Extensive Growth
The Incorporation of the European Periphery
Wage Explosion and Labor Conflict
The End of the Golden Age
Mounting Payments Problems
Italy's Crisis
Britain's Problems
The French Crisis and the German Response
The Collapse of Bretton Woods
The European Response
Declining Growth, Rising Rigidities
The Productivity Slowdown
Stabilization in Britain
The EMS Initiative
The EMS in Operation
The Legacy
The Collapse of Central Planning
The Survival of Central Planning
The Collapse of Communism
Recession and Adjustment
Dilemmas of Transition
Economic Response
German Reunification
Normalization and Integration
Integration and Adjustment
The Single Market
Integration in Practice
From the Delors Report to the Maastricht Treaty
The EMS Crisis
The Transition to Monetary Union
EMU and Its Implications
Adjustment and Growth
Europe at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century
Employment and Growth
Reducing Unemployment
Implications for European Unemployment
Productivity Growth
Eastern European Prospects and Western European Implications
Economic Prospects
The Future of the European Model
Battle of the Systems
The Shadow of History
Sources of Growth

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