DP1092 British Economic Growth Since 1945: Relative Economic Decline .... and Renaissance?

Author(s): Charles R Bean, Nicholas Crafts
Publication Date: January 1995
Keyword(s): Economic Growth, Human Capital, Industrial Relations, Total Factor Productivity, UK
JEL(s): J24, J51, N14, O52
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=1092

The paper contains a thorough review of explanations for the weak British growth performance of the 1950s through the 1970s and an assessment of the long-term implications of the 1980s attempt to escape from relative decline. The analysis draws on recent work in growth theory and places institutions and government policy at the heart of the growth process. We illustrate the possible adverse effects of industrial relations and social contracts on pre-1979 performance and highlight the difficulty of measuring the role of human capital. We believe the jury is still out on the implications for long-term growth potential of the post-1979 policy changes.