The 1970s are a central problem in contemporary economic history. Historiography has pointed at this period as the end of the Western Golden Age of economic growth which took place after WWII. However, a rising debate is stressing how many of the elements which eventually led to the collapse of the Bretton Woods system and to the slowdown of economic growth were actually already in place in the 1950s and 1960s. The course will draw upon this second interpretation, with the aim to develop a break-continuity debate.
The course consists of two parts. In the first part, we will focus on the development of US and European economies between WWII and the Oil Shocks of 1973 and 1979, mostly following a chronological perspective. This first part aims at contextualising the crisis of the early 1970s in a longer perspective.
The second part of the course focuses instead on a few more specific topics: international monetary policy (especially the Bretton Woods system), the growth of the Eurodollar market, the crisis of the Keynesian paradigm and the rise of Supply-side economics, tax competition, the increase of income inequality, the changes in the Welfare state, technological change, the decline in industrial productivity, the rise of non-Western economic powers.
Buggeln, Marc, Martin Daunton and Alexander Nützenadel, eds., The Political Economy of Public Finance: Taxation, State Spending and Debt since the 1970s (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)
Eichengreen, Barry, The European economy since 1945: Coordinated capitalism and beyond (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007)
–––– Globalizing capital: A history of the international monetary system, 2nd ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008)
Ferguson, Niall, Charles S. Maier, Erez Manela and Daniel J. Sargent, eds., The shock of the global: The 1970s in perspective (Cambridge, London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010)
Ogle, Vanessa, ʻArchipelago Capitalism: Tax Havens, Offshore Money, and the State, 1950s-1970sʼ, The American Historical Review, 122, 5 (2017), 1431-1458
Rodgers, Daniel T., Age of fracture (Cambridge MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011)
Schenk, Catherine R., ʻThe origins of the Asia dollar market 1968-1986. Regulatory competition and complementarity in Singapore and Hong Kongʼ, Financial History Review, 27, 1 (2020), 17-44