After World War II the European economy grew rapidly and reached full employment, accompanied in the 1960s by a sharp rise in purchasing power. Social and political institutions played a significant role in this process. Most notably, the welfare state and labour market institutions are widely acknowledged to have contributed to this economic success. However, in the 1970s, the welfare state became more generous and labour market institutions expanded – a policy which from today’s perspective turns out to be an impediment in coping with the challenge of globalisation.
A panel discussion was held to more firmly understand this economic and political process and its implications for the future of Europe. A couple of theses on the future of the European economy, presented by Barry Eichengreen and Hans-Werner Sinn, served as starting point for the discussion. Georges de Ménil and Torben Andersen acted as discussants and John Peet (Europe Editor, The Economist) as moderator.
The discussion was based on the publications:
"The European Economy Since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond"
by Barry Eichengreen (Princeton University Press, 2007)
"Can Germany Be Saved? The Malaise of the World's First Welfare State"
by Hans-Werner Sinn (MIT Press, 2007)
Scientific organisers: Barry Eichengreen, Marko Koethenbuerger
Introduction by John Peet, Europe Editor, The Economist
Presentation by Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkley
Presentation by Hans-Werner Sinn, President of the Ifo Institute
Georges de Ménil, PSE, Paris
Torben Andersen, Aarhus University