Post-Mortem on British Economic Policy 1960–1976

  • F. Blackaby


In 1960, real national product per head in the United Kingdom (estimated at purchasing power parities) was rather higher — perhaps about five per cent higher — than in either France or West Germany (Paige, 1961). By 1976, it was some twenty-five per cent lower (Kravis, Heston and Summers, 1978)(1). No other industrial country, in the last twenty years or so, has changed so many places in the rank order of standards of living. This is the main measure of the British economy’s lack of success. Nor is the record better, measured by other indicators of economic performance — the movement of retail prices or the level of unemployment. The UK’s price record is significantly worse than the industrial world’s average, over this twenty-year period, and its unemployment record is no better than average.


Exchange Rate Industrial Policy Demand Management Import Price Income Policy 
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  1. Hall, R.L. (1964) Foreword to J.C.R. Dow The Management of the British Economy,1945–50 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. XV—XVI.Google Scholar
  2. Kravis, I.B., Heston, A.W. and Summers, R. (1978), ‘Real GDP Per Capita for More than One Hundred Countries’, Economic Journal, vol. 88, June, pp. 215–242.Google Scholar
  3. Paige, D.C., Blackaby, F.T. and Freund, S. (1961) ‘Economic Growth: The Last Hundred Years’, National Institute Economic Review, no. 16, July, pp. 24–49.Google Scholar
  4. Wilson, H. (1964) Paper presented at the Bonnington Conference, Autumn 1964.Google Scholar

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© Wiener Institut für Internationale Wirtschaftsvergleiche (WIIW) (The Vienna Institute for Comparative Economic Studies) 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Blackaby

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