Transforming the European Economy by Martin Neil Baily

By Martin Neil Baily

Europe grew swiftly for a few years, yet now, confronted with better demanding situations, numerous of the big economies in Europe have both didn't generate adequate jobs or have did not in attaining the top degrees of productiveness or either. This research explores why Europe's progress slowed, what contribution info know-how makes to development, and what regulations may possibly facilitate monetary transformation. It emphasizes a method with powerful paintings incentives and a excessive point of aggressive depth. Europe does not have to cast off its protections for people, the authors finish, yet either social courses and rules towards company needs to be reoriented so they inspire financial switch.

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For a discussion of the slowdown and further references see Baily and Chakrabarti (1988). One important effect of the post-1973 slowdown in the United States was that productivity growth in service industries collapsed. The recovery of productivity growth after 1995 seems to have reversed that service-sector decline. 3. The data on productivity will be presented shortly. Productivity growth did not cease in Europe, but it slowed sharply. 4. The inflation problems of the 1970s actually started in the 1960s with an upward push on wages.

French and German leaders suffered election setbacks because neither articulated a clear and honest picture of what must be accomplished by reform, the reasons for change, the likely short-term effects, and the large long-run societal payoff. Instead, voters, already discontented by cyclical weakness in their economies, were simply presented with cutbacks in entitlement programs—such as pensions and unemployment insurance—that they believed were safe. The struggle to achieve economic reform will be tough, regardless, but without a clear picture of what is at stake, there is little hope of success.

However, when productivity slowed this created serious economic difficulties. Not only does such a growth slowdown cause persistent unemployment, it reduces tax revenue growth and thus can lead to budget problems. It lowers real wage growth and weakens profits. It makes it much more difficult to finance the retirement income of pensioners. If Europe could increase its rate of productivity growth, this would ease its transition to a full employment economy and make it much easier to avoid any threat of an unstable employment decline.

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