Western Europe's Growth Prospects: An Historical Perspective

44 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2012

Date Written: February 2012


This paper surveys the recent economic history of Western European growth. It concludes that this experience has been disappointing and that further reforms are desirable in many countries. The requirement for reform comes both from achieving 'close-to-frontier' status and from the opportunities provided by the new technological era. The paper goes on to consider the effects that the current crisis may have on medium-term growth rates. The lesson from the 1930s is that, if the current crisis leads to a similarly bad downturn, the policy reaction in terms of greater state intervention will not be conducive to improved growth prospects.

Keywords: catch-up growth, general purpose technology, social capability, supply-side policy

JEL Classification: N14, O52

Suggested Citation

Crafts, Nicholas, Western Europe's Growth Prospects: An Historical Perspective (February 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8827. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2013818

Nicholas Crafts (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

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