World Economic Performance
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World Economic Performance

Past, Present and Future

Edited by D. S.P. Rao and Bart van Ark

World economic performance over the last 50 years has been spectacular. The postwar period has witnessed impressive growth rates in Western Europe and Japan, and in recent times China and India. This new book discusses these issues and tackles topical questions such as; what are the socio-economic and institutional factors that have contributed to this impressive performance? Will China and India continue to grow at the same rate over the next two decades? What are the prospects for Japan, the US and other advanced economies? The book brings together contributions by eminent scholars including the late Angus Maddison, Professors Justin Lin, Bob Gordon, Ross Garnaut, Bart van Ark and others to provide answers to these fascinating questions. The chapters analyse the economic performance of selected countries including China, India, Japan, Indonesia and the US, as well as Western Europe, Latin America and developing countries as a group. The time period of the study is from 1850 to the present and includes forecasts to 2030.
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Confessions of a Chiffrephile


FAMILY INFLUENCES My interest in economics started early. Until I was six, I lived in Newcastle- on-Tyne, where the main industries were shipbuilding and coal-mining. A large proportion of the work force were unemployed throughout the 1920s, and unemployment was massive in 1929–33. My father had a steady job as a railway fitter but I had two unemployed uncles, and there were many unemployed neighbours. The unemployed were not only poor but depressed. Many loitered aimlessly at street corners, looked haggard, wore mufflers and cloth caps and smoked fag-ends. Their children were often sickly or tubercular. My father took me to Gateshead every Sunday to see my grandmother. The double-decker bridge across the Tyne had openwork iron girders with a long drop to a dirty river that flowed between laid-up ships and a long line of derelict factories. The bleak image of the dead economy was sharpened by the noise and vibration above. Trams rattled down the middle of the roadway, and trains rumbled ominously overhead. At the Gateshead end, the buildings were blacker, and the clusters of unemployed thicker than in Newcastle. I saw nowhere so depressing until visiting Calcutta 30 years later. In 1933, the railway workshops were relocated in Darlington. We only moved 30 miles but it was a different world with much less unemployment. I was also aware of other improvements, as I knew that food prices had fallen and that mortgages were affordable. My parents both left school when they were 12 and were interested in improving their education and mine. My mother used to read to me at an early age, she taught me to play golf, we had competitions in spelling or guessing the title of operatic music we heard on the radio.

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