TOFLIT18: for a better understanding of the French economy

By Loïc Charles and Guillaume Daudin*

Recurrent questions on our economies are, to quote a few: Which factors and actors are key for economic development? What private and public behaviors are particularly growth-enhancing? How important are institutions and policies in shaping trade, in promoting innovations and then growth?…There are different ways of enhancing our knowledge to answer these questions. The first way consists in laboratory experiments where a small-scale environment is created in order to understand “how the different pieces of the system work and interact” This is particularly appropriate for learning on social preferences and dealing with welfare issues. But, as soon as questions related to growth – such those mentioned above – are concerned, laboratory experiments do not appear very suitable. One other way of enhancing our knowledge consists in analyzing what happens today in our country and, possibly, to carry out international comparisons in order to disentangle between what is “good” and what is “bad” for the economy. Once one is engaged in that direction, why stop at comparison across space? Analyzing what happened several decades or centuries ago and to learn from these past experiences for the current period can also be very fruitful. Continue reading “TOFLIT18: for a better understanding of the French economy”

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Why it’s necessary to read Robert C. Allen: Global Economy History: A Very Short Introduction [1]

By Guillaume Daudin (Professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine, Researcher with the OFCE)

Robert C. Allen (born in 1947) has been Professor of Economic History at Oxford University since 2002. He defended his PhD thesis in 1975 at Harvard University. He has worked on a wide variety of topics and has received numerous awards for his publications. In 2009, his The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective was named Book of the Year by The Economist and the Times Literary Supplement. His research has focused on many aspects of the economic history of development: real wages, advances in agriculture, the sources of technical progress, the impact of imperialism, and sustainable development. He has been a key figure in the debate over the origin of divergences in development within Europe: he defends a unique position that stresses the importance of the material base (in Marx’s sense) and of political choices rather than of the rest of the superstructure (culture, institutions, laws, etc.). Continue reading “Why it’s necessary to read Robert C. Allen: Global Economy History: A Very Short Introduction [1]”

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