Abstract and Keywords
Over the last six decades, economic developments in the three countries that were defeated in World War II look strikingly similar. First came rapid reconstruction. Then followed the economic miracles of the Golden Age. The years that went from the first oil shock to the mid-1990s still saw fairly robust, and relatively similar, economic developments. Finally, during the last 15 years, the three countries held the dubious record of having the lowest output growth rates in the OECD area. The chapter looks primarily at Italy, using the examples of Germany and Japan to search for parallels and contrasts. Among the similarities, the main one lies in overall macroeconomic trends. The main differences are in economic policies (where Germany and Japan followed a much more orthodox stance than Italy), in labor market relations (with much greater conflict in Italy than in the other two countries), and in regional developments (where Italy was handicapped by the Mezzogiorno). Indeed, had Italy's government institutions, labor market relations and regional differentials been less problematic, Italy's growth performance might well have been superior to that of Germany and Japan.
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