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The “ethical economics” that fuelled the postwar boom and the Industrial Revolution


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Simon Szreter, Hilary Cooper and Ben Szreter, the team that jointly won the IPPR Economics Prize 2019, have published a summary of their work with openDemocracy:

There are two clear periods in our past when everyone in society contributed to the population’s basic social security, education and health needs because everybody could see the strong and tangible benefits that resulted from it.

Most obviously, this happened in the postwar decades of the new welfare state as hitherto unseen levels of investment in the population’s health and education fired up productivity growth so that it reached a historic peak of 2.4% per annum from 1950-1973, three times higher than the entire period 1871-1937.

Far less well-known, this also happened throughout the two centuries which led to the industrial revolution.

Read the full essay.

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