Economic Growth in Europe: the Longer View

Economist Tyler Cowen has a post up on who has gained most from the Euro (as measured by state), but the economist Angus puts things into perspective:

Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Greece were all growing fast relative to Germany (and France which is not on the graph) well before the introduction of the Euro. Ireland and Spain take off somewhere around 1990 and the intro of the Euro in 2000 does not speed up their trajectory. Portugal actually falls further behind Germany in the Euro era. Greece is the only country of these 5 whose catch-up to Germany accelerates with the intro of the Euro.

Two quick thoughts:

  1. Woah! Look at Ireland!
  2. I’ll bet the acceleration of growth in the 1960’s had to do with the end of World War 2 and its rebuilding efforts.

Taking a broader historical view really puts things into perspective. If the Euro was not the catalyst for the economic growth of the 1990’s, what was? My guess is that the elimination of tariffs and labor restrictions between European states led to the growth. If the Eurozone had not implemented a central bank I think we wouldn’t be looking at all of the political problems now associated with the region.

Angus (who works at Oklahoma University) got his statistics from here. I highly recommend using it in your own studies as well.

Please keep it civil

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