In contrast to the USA, Europe has struggled to return to the growth path it was on prior to the financial crisis of 2007–11. Not only has the recovery been slow, it has also been variable with Europe's core countries recovering more quickly than those on the periphery. It is widely believed that the best way to address this slow recovery is through structural reform programmes whereby changes in government policy, regulatory frameworks, investment incentives and labour markets are used to encourage more efficient markets and higher economic growth. This book is the first to provide a critical assessment of these reforms, with a new theoretical framework, new data and new empirical methodologies. It includes several case studies of countries such as Greece, Portugal and France that introduced significant reforms, revealing that such programmes have very divergent, and not always positive, effects on economic growth, employment and income inequality.
Yunus Aksoy - Birkbeck, University of London
Wouter DenHaan - London School of Economics
André Sapir - Université libre de Bruxelles