The Golden Age Illusion: Rethinking Postwar Capitalism

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9780898625738: The Golden Age Illusion: Rethinking Postwar Capitalism

What happened to the so-called "golden age" of the postwar boom? Unprecedented rates of economic growth, profitability, and wage increases during the 1950s and 60s have given way to a global capitalist economy in disarray. Reassessing common interpretations of postwar economic history and geography, this book focuses on the evolution of the global economy from the 1950s to the present. Based on extensive research, the book assesses histories of growth, profitability, and technological change in core industrial economies (Japan and the USA), raw material dependent economies (Australia and Canada), and several newly industrializing countries (Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan). The authors build on standard models of economic change to incorporate new developments in regional dynamics: they use nonlinear, nonequilibrium, and evolutionary arguments to frame discussions of profit rates, technological change, and interregional capital flows.

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About the Author:

Michael Webber, a Professor of Geography at the University of Melbourne in Australia, is deputy convenor of The Victoria Foundation, a think tank that promotes justice in social and economic policies. His research interests have evolved from location theory and urban planning to industrial development and regional growth.

David Rigby is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include evolutionary models of technological change and economic dynamics, regional growth theory, and uneven development.

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1. Introduction 2. The Partly Golden Age 3. Competing Theories of Postwar Growth and Change 4. The Labor Theory of Value and Expected Prices 5. Accumulation, Technical Change, and the Falling Rate of Profit 6. The Form of Productivity Change 7. Internalization and Global Capital Flows 8. Profits and Technical Change in Australia, Canada, Japan, and the USA 9. The Rate and Direction of Technical Change in US Manufacturing 10. The Growth of the Newly Industrialized Countries 11. Conclusion

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