After education levels and physical capital was pretty equal,

After WWI and the Great Depression there was a great deal of
recovery taking place across Europe but after both these events the recovery
was not substantial enough to create a long term growth trend. This was only
done after the WWII reconstruction period. Before the Second World War there
was volatile and unstable economic growth throughout the whole of Europe. Post
WWI there was sustained stagnant economic growth but the Great Depression caused
even greater economic problems but lasted for a shorter period. During WWII the
state of the economy was even worse but the recovery after was much stronger.

Leading up to WWII all countries had similar
levels of physical and human capital as well as GDP per capita. However, after
the Second World War the similarities ended as Germany and Austria remained capitalist
states whereas Eastern Europe introduced policies such as state redistribution
and central planning. A key aspect of centrally planned economies is to invest
heavily in broad capital, but this was not very effective as these economies didn’t
catch up in terms of economic growth. Although during the period 1930-1990
education levels and physical capital was pretty equal, the GDP per capita in
Austria and Germany was far greater than other countries around Europe. Providing human capital is a key driving force in long run
economic performance then this could be portrayed as being a large reduction in
the productive efficiency of human capital accumulation in Eastern Europe
during socialism.

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During the period
between 1946 to 1973 there was a sustained period of long run growth across the
majority of Europe. It was after the Yom Kippur war in 1973 when the oil crisis
took affect that caused a sharp downturn in growth rates as the price of oil
sky rocketed.Post WWII was when investment
really took off. In 1947 the investment rate reached 22.7%. Countries were much
better at investing after WWII as opposed to WWI where the investment rate was
very meek. The investment level stayed high at around 19% between 1948 to 1953.
It then further increased to 24.5% in 1964 and was sustained until 1974.