DP1023 | French Post-war Growth: From (Indicative) Planning to (Administered) Market

Publication Date

30/09/1994

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Abstract

France's post-war growth has gone through four phases. The strong growth performance of the 1950s was helped by a phenomenon of catch-up on best foreign practices, and by a positive effect of capital rejuvenation. Yet the best performance was to follow and covered a period beginning around 1958 and coming to an abrupt end in 1973. The macroeconomic treatment of the oil shock was less than happy, and the supply-side measures came to a standstill. The 1980s proved no better, even though further liberalization measures were taken, this time in the financial markets as well the privatization of significant part of state-owned industry.Despite several waves of liberalization, significantly after the creation of the EEC and the return of the franc to convertibility, both in 1958, and then in the 1980s, France still appears to be struggling and suffering from lingering powerful rigidities. Labour market institutions and human capital accumulation may have replaced protection and inefficient productive capital accumulation as the main source of slower growth.