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Presidential Address: Fear of Failing: Economic History and the Decline of Britain
The Economic History Review
New Series, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Aug., 1994), pp. 441-458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2597588
Page Count: 18
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Britain's relative economic performance has provoked pessimism for a century, and with increasing intensity since the early 1950s. On the other hand, levels of output and income have increased very markedly. Why do the British worry more about relative economic growth than about actual improvements in economic welfare? Other countries may be experiencing the same consequences of maturity. Loss of status as a world power is not a vital consideration for most people. Fears of deindustrialization are imprecise. Admittedly, it is indisputably the case that the expansion of the economy has not kept pace with aspirations and needs. Yet these are matters of subjective perception.
The Economic History Review © 1994 Economic History Society