Since 1945, the world has experienced a period of growth which, although slowed down since 1973, has nevertheless continued until today. However, the size, pace and character of this growth has changed over a period of time and is different for different countries.
What factors explain this period of growth? What are the factors that limit this growth? What are the characteristics of the economic transformation of the early 1970's? This paper examines these questions.
Between 1947 and 1952, the Marshall plan for Western Europe provided 13 billion dollars to enable recipient countries to purchase goods and equipment needed for reconstruction. Meanwhile, the U.S. pushed countries to come together in the OEEC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation: Distribution of loans and grants from the Marshall Plan, which was replaced in 1961 by OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). From 1949 onwards, Japan benefited from other forms of aid and began its reconstruction.
[...] An unstable and slow growth There were, in fact, three alternating phases of recessions and recoveries since 1980: 1980 - 1982: Rigorous liberal and second oil shock caused a severe recession in industrial countries - 1993: Strong recovery in Japan and U.S., low in Western Europe, countries of the Third World in debt and subjected to fiscal discipline reduced growth; the Asian NIE's have sustained expansion. Since 1990: New recession in Japan and Europe (high unemployment), variable conditions in third world countries and difficult conversion period for the countries of Eastern Europe. [...]
[...] However, financing of economic activity had the disadvantage of feeding inflation and increasing debt, which became very heavy in the third world countries. Finally, unlike the previous crises, the principle of free trade was generally preserved in the GATT (Tokyo Round), which allowed some countries to offset their weakening domestic demand with increased exports. This formidably increased international competition (for example, the devastating capture of the US market by Japanese carmakers.). The effects of neo-liberalism Principles of neo-liberalism and its effects Neo-liberalism is the imposing of strict financial management and the promotion of the disengagement of the state in economic and social life. [...]
[...] By joining the currency of international trade since 1944 (Bretton Woods Conference), the dollar went beyond the control of America because a mass of greenbacks started circulating worldwide. President Nixon responded by strengthening border protection, devaluing the dollar, and abolishing its convertibility into gold (end of Bretton Woods). The slower growth Negative consequences of productivity on growth The replacement of unskilled labor with machines increased production costs, which affected prices and fuelled inflation in the late 1960s. The emergence of unemployment Productivity gains - linked to the replacement of unskilled labor with machines - were responsible for the emergence of unemployment in the early 1970s. [...]
[...] countries refused American aid because they did not accept the liberal principles of the new economic and financial world (they were absent from the IMF and did not join the GATT) and did not allow American control. They planned their own reconstruction but were limited to their own strengths and had to struggle to overcome shortages. An unprecedented economic growth A strong and steady overall growth From 1950 to 1973, the world witnessed the fastest economic growth in its history. [...]
[...] The challenge of developing countries While growth has been present generally, such growth has also been uneven, and a majority of the third world countries are sinking into poverty. UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, founded in 1964 at the instigation of 77 Third World countries wishing to have their demands and to develop a constructive dialogue with the rich countries) provides a forum for countries poorest. They denounced the exploitation of their natural resources by multinational companies (large companies whose operations are conducted in several countries) in developed countries and called for the creation of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) based on the adjustment during commodity and the transfer of modern technologies. [...]
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