To all of you people thinking that the financial crisis “proves that the Anglo Saxon model doesn’t work”, take a long long look.  Yes, I’m looking at you, short Frenchman over there getting all excited. From Martin Wolf’s column today.

What matters is the slope, not the occasional bump.  If you want a talk that shows even the Depression in this light, watch Alex Tabarrok being inspirational here.


9 thoughts on “I have always wanted to produce this graph

  1. Im sorry but this irrelevant, its GDP per head that tells you how rich people are. The USA has, for obvious historical reasons had very high immigration rates, the same is true to a lesser extent og the UK. Japan, France & Germany have, at some points, had falling populations.
    The real message is that political models seem to have no long-term effect on growth at all.

  2. No, plumbus, unless you thnk that the UK and the US have outgrown France’s population growth by 10%, then clearly no. I suspect the figure is more like 3%.. Go to the OECD if you think you have figures elsewhere.

    The “real message” you have just given is about as false as any I can imagine. So feudalism works just as well, really?

  3. I had much the same thought as the commenter above, but then I spent an hour playing with and open office calc.

    And discovered! Nah, pretty similar if you adjust on a per capita basis. Although Germany catches up with France by 2008, having lost ground since 1997, unlike as descibed above. I might do a post on it soon since I have some data to play with now. (Might throw in Italy too, that’s a country that always makes me think; “economics must be irrelevant because Italy’s still going.” a la Chris Dillow)

    You’ve got to give it to Capitalism; it does produce growth.

  4. This is obviously a huge topic, and I’ve done little rather than post a simple graph. But your last sentence says it. Trouble is with the ultimate malthuisian limits, and the distributional issues. But it definitely works.

    I’ll post another graph some time.


  5. thought this might be of interest:

    The Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) hears evidence from four expert commentators on its new inquiry into public administration and the fiscal squeeze.

    Video and audio evidence session: Public administration and the fiscal squeeze
    Public Administration Select Committee
    The witnesses are:


    David Halpern, Director of Research at the Institute for Government and former Number 10 adviser
    Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, an independent, charitable, non-party think tank
    Tony Travers, London School of Economics
    Colin Talbot, Manchester Business School
    The short inquiry is looking at how ministers and public servants can conduct the business of government most effectively in the face of likely future public spending cuts.

    PASC’s particular focus is the impact of hard economic times on government administration and public services, rather than on the economics of deficit reduction.

    It also comes as proposals are being put forward by government and others to achieve ‘smarter government’.

    The session is expected to cover the following issues:

    the nature of expected cuts to public expenditure (targeted or across-the-board)
    possible effects on the size and organisation of central government, frontline public services and other public sector bodies
    the relative merits of different approaches to making public spending cuts
    how to determine the areas that government should and should not be involved in
    how government officials and public servants could manage the process of implementing cuts most effectively

  6. Giles

    It also depends one when you start your analysis. If you start in Jan 1997, rather than Q2 1991, then the US has grown 35%, the UK 29% and France 26%. If the UK workforce has grown 0.2% faster per year, then French growth per worker has been higher than ours. This seems at least plausible, given immigration levels.

    Capitalism works, but there is precious little evidence that one form or another works better, taken at that sort of aggregate level.


  7. The obvious retort is that yes, in terms of growth delivered, the Anglo Saxon model gives you more of it. The interesting issue is whether that therefore makes the Anglo Saxon model ipso facto the most desirable model both vis a vis other approaches in existence and re what we might want to do about our present approach.

    Of course, we want growth. But we may want other values too (social cohesion, equality, less power and influence of the corporate sector, greater public ownership, respect for the environment, whatever). And we may feel that while the Anglo Saxon approach gives us lots of growth, it doesn’t give us enough of the other good stuff.

    Not to say I necessarily think that other approaches do, on balance, yield us better alternatives over all. Or that the idiots your post is targetted at take the nuanced position I’m pointing too. I just wanted to make the point that growth isn’t the only value (whilst trying not to be an anti-growth moron).

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