DP1095 | Post-war Growth: An Overview

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The paper comprises a thorough survey of the literature on growth in Western Europe since 1950. This experience is put in the context both of long-run historical trends and the ideas emanating from recent work in growth economics. The exceptional nature of the Golden Age (c.1950-73) is confirmed and given an historical interpretation. Catch-up growth is seen as central to this period but not to be a pure neoclassical phenomenon. It is argued that theory has run ahead of measurement and that future research will need to look much more carefully at proxies for human capital formation and at determinants of ex-ante returns on investment.