The “productivity miracle” of the Reagan-Thatcher years in perspective
Keywords:Productivity, U.S., U.K., Long-term growth
Annual productivity growth in the UK and US economies had slumped dismally behind that of competitor economies. The policy of the ‘New Right’ in the 1980s in the United States and the United Kingdom was to stimulate productivity growth and this succeeded in reversing the relative decline of the economies. The author reviews a number of key variables over the period since the 1950s and concludes that radical changes have indeed taken place in both economies, although the changes are not of a nature that you would expect to provide a solid basis for steady long-term growth and success.
JEL: E23, O40
ADAMS, W. and BROCK, ].W. (1988), "Reaganotnics and the Transmogrilication of the
Merger Policy", The Anti-Trust Bullettin, Summer.
ASHTON, D. et al. (1989), "'The Training System af British Capitalism: Changes and
Prospects", in F. Green (ed.) The Restructuring 01 the British Economy, HarvesterWheatsheaf.
COUNCIL OF ECONOMIe AnvIsoRs (1981), A Program for Economie Recovery, February.
COUNCIL OF EcoNoMIe AOVISORS (1982), The Economie Report 01 the President, February.
CROSS, M. (1988), UChanges in Working Practices in UK Manufacturing", IndustriaI
Relations Review and Report, 5 May.
ENGLANDER, A.S. and MITTELSTADT, A. (1988), UTotal FactorProductivity:
Macroeconamic and Structural Aspects af the SIowdown", Economie Studies, No.
lO, OECD, Spring.
GRIEDER, W. (1987), Secre!s 01 the TempIe, Touchstone Baoks.
HASKEL, J. and KAY, ]. (1990), uproductivity in British Industry under Mrs Thatcher", in
G; Mather et al. The State 01 the Economy, Institute of Economie Affairs.
MATTHEWS, K. and MINFORD, M. (1987), "Mrs Thatcher's Economie Polieies 1979-87",
Economie Policy, No.5.
METCALFE, D. (1988), UWater Notes Dry Up", Centre lor Labour Economics Discussion
Paper, No. 314, London School of Economics.
NISKANEN, W.A. (1987) Reaganomics, Oxfard University Presso
STOCKMAN, D.A. (1986), The Triumph 01 Politics, Harper and Row.
WALTERS, A. (1986), Britain's Economie Renaissance, Oxford University Presso
WILLS, G. (1988), Reagan's America, Penguin.