The “productivity miracle” of the Reagan-Thatcher years in perspective



Annual productivity growth in the UK and US economies had slumped dismally behind that of competitor economies. The policy of the ‘New Right’ in the 1980s in the United States and the United Kingdom was to stimulate productivity growth and this succeeded in reversing the relative decline of the economies. The author reviews a number of key variables over the period since the 1950s and concludes that radical changes have indeed taken place in both economies, although the changes are not of a nature that you would expect to provide a solid basis for steady long-term growth and success.


JEL: E23, O40


Productivity, U.S., U.K., Long-term growth

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