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Investment and growth in Europe during the Golden Age


During the ‘Golden Age’, the high investment rates reached by the European countries have been considered crucial in explaining growth. The literature about the Golden Age has emphasized supply-side explanations based on structural change, the reconstruction effort and the catch-up hypothesis, but also demand-side explanations focused on the effects of demand stability for promoting high rates of investment. In this article we have focused our attention on the evolution of the user cost of capital for explaining the high rates of investment. Our hypothesis is that the increase in investment rates was propelled by the decline in the user cost of capital, the consequence largely of the drop in the relative price of machinery. The embodiment of new technology and the reductions in trade barriers explain this decrease in the relative price of machinery.

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European Review of Economic History
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