DP6863 European Economic Growth, 1950-2005: An Overview

Author(s): Nicholas Crafts, Gianni Toniolo
Publication Date: June 2008
Keyword(s): catch-up growth, Golden Age, ICT, slowdown, total factor productivity
JEL(s): N14, O47, O52
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6863

This paper surveys the extensive literature on European economic growth since 1950. It presents an overview of comparative growth performance together with benchmarked growth accounting estimates. The growth experience is considered in terms of three periods, the Golden Age of 1950-73, the Growth Slowdown of 1973-1995, and the New Economy period since the mid-1990s, both across countries and across regions. The key conclusion is that study of the historical record underlines the importance of incentive structures for growth outcomes while sustaining growth performance over the long run requires the (often difficult) adaptation of institutions and policies as catch up becomes more complete and new technological epochs arrive.