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Forging Ahead, Falling Behind and Fighting Back: British Economic Growth from the Industrial Revolution to the Financial Crisis

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To what extent has the British economy declined compared to its competitors and what are the underlying reasons for this decline? Nicholas Crafts, one of the world's foremost economic historians, tackles these questions in a major new account of Britain's long-run economic performance. He argues that history matters in interpreting current economic performance, because the To what extent has the British economy declined compared to its competitors and what are the underlying reasons for this decline? Nicholas Crafts, one of the world's foremost economic historians, tackles these questions in a major new account of Britain's long-run economic performance. He argues that history matters in interpreting current economic performance, because the present is always conditioned by what went before. Bringing together ideas from economic growth theory and varieties of capitalism to endogenous growth and cliometrics, he reveals the microeconomic foundations of Britain's economic performance in terms of the impact of institutional arrangements and policy choices on productivity performance. The book traces Britain's path from the first Industrial Revolution and global economic primacy through to its subsequent long-term decline, the strengths and weaknesses of the Thatcherite response, and the improvement in relative economic performance that was sustained to the eve of the financial crisis.


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To what extent has the British economy declined compared to its competitors and what are the underlying reasons for this decline? Nicholas Crafts, one of the world's foremost economic historians, tackles these questions in a major new account of Britain's long-run economic performance. He argues that history matters in interpreting current economic performance, because the To what extent has the British economy declined compared to its competitors and what are the underlying reasons for this decline? Nicholas Crafts, one of the world's foremost economic historians, tackles these questions in a major new account of Britain's long-run economic performance. He argues that history matters in interpreting current economic performance, because the present is always conditioned by what went before. Bringing together ideas from economic growth theory and varieties of capitalism to endogenous growth and cliometrics, he reveals the microeconomic foundations of Britain's economic performance in terms of the impact of institutional arrangements and policy choices on productivity performance. The book traces Britain's path from the first Industrial Revolution and global economic primacy through to its subsequent long-term decline, the strengths and weaknesses of the Thatcherite response, and the improvement in relative economic performance that was sustained to the eve of the financial crisis.

39 review for Forging Ahead, Falling Behind and Fighting Back: British Economic Growth from the Industrial Revolution to the Financial Crisis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    An important part of understanding the future course of an economy is to understand from where it has come. It was this that attracted me to the book to begin with. The book charts the economic progress of Britain from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the current day. In many ways, it is a companion to a number of similar volumes charting the rise of the American economy. All of these serve as a guide to the future. This book takes an econometric approach to economic history. There is li An important part of understanding the future course of an economy is to understand from where it has come. It was this that attracted me to the book to begin with. The book charts the economic progress of Britain from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the current day. In many ways, it is a companion to a number of similar volumes charting the rise of the American economy. All of these serve as a guide to the future. This book takes an econometric approach to economic history. There is little description and much analysis. I didn't mind that too much, but it did make for heavy reading. I did have a problem with the econometric model used because I felt that it was too focussed on the things that are easily measured, as econometrics does, and that it didn't really come to grips with those things that were not too readily measured. That is a point in favour of a more descriptive approach. An example of this might be the role of institutions in the development of the British economy. The author quite rightly points to their importance, especially in the development of London as a financial centre late in the Nineteenth Century, but its importance doesn't easily render itself for inclusion into an econometric model. Instead, it gets lumped into 'Total Factor Productivity', whatever that is. The result is that the importance of the supply side, a naturally soft side to the economy, becomes underplayed. This works against the author. Later in the book he argues that it was the institutional legacy of the Nineteenth Century that impeded progress in Britain in the Twentieth Century. I can see this. The contemporary economy is more like an historical theme park than a modern dynamic economy, and this is largely due to the legacy effects of deep and entrenched vested interests. However, the core question of what it is that allowed Victorian Britain to forge ahead, but prevents Elizabethan Britain from doing likewise, is largely unexplored. It doesn't easily render itself to econometric analysis. On the whole, I found the book interesting. There are snippets of really good analysis here and there, but they are buried in a large volume of dense academic economic analysis. The book is only a shrt one, but in reading it felt much, much, longer. It is a work that can only be recommended to the dedicated.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Riccardo

  3. 4 out of 5

    Owen Spencer

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen David

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tom Yeomans

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brishen

  8. 5 out of 5

    Abikoye Olufemi

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hazel Grace

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sam Seitz

  13. 4 out of 5

    ZacharySicilian

  14. 5 out of 5

    John

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sulthan A.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trisolaris

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dominika

  18. 5 out of 5

    Martin Jacobsen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Blake Greene

  20. 4 out of 5

    Federico

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annie Qian

  22. 5 out of 5

    Prasanta

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meredith C

  24. 5 out of 5

    Soumaya Keynes

  25. 4 out of 5

    Roland

  26. 4 out of 5

    Arturo

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  28. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Blahuta

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marius

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alex Jorgensen Yturriaga

  31. 5 out of 5

    Drew

  32. 4 out of 5

    Hank

  33. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

  34. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  35. 4 out of 5

    Dsss2222gmail.Com

  36. 4 out of 5

    Mr. R

  37. 5 out of 5

    Daria

  38. 5 out of 5

    Ján Hudeček

  39. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

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