Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
Why are some Western countries more prosperous than others? Why,
for example, does Europe suffer from higher unemployment and lower
GDP growth than the United States? According to Dr. Barry
Eichengreen in his recent book, much of the answer lies in the
different way in which European nations structure their
economies. The end of WWII left Europe devastated.
Among the ashes, Europeans began to construct new institutions,
economic no less than political. Continental governments
developed a close relationship with their businesses, one more
intertwined than in the United States. This strategy seemed
to work, and some of the founding nations of the European Union
dreamed that Europe's economy might one day overtake the United
After the initial boom, however, Europe's economic
infrastructure has shown its cracks. The same mechanisms that
appeared to resurrect war-torn economies are now preventing those
economies from competing with America and parts of the developing
world. Europe lags far behind the United States in the modern
hallmarks of competitive economies, such as start-ups, research and
development, and high risk/high reward investments. The
continent's inability to liberalize its post-war institutions is
costing states revenue and Europeans jobs. Despite
consternation about poor economic growth, however, there is little
political will for positive action. How this came to be - and
how it can be fixed - is the focus of Dr. Eichengreen's discourse
and lecture discussion.
More About the Speakers
Barry Eichengreen, Ph.D.
George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee
Professor of Economics and Political Science,
University of California, Berkeley
Tim Kane, Ph.D.