chapter  4
36 Pages

Industrial development

Three conclusions about Britain’s postwar economic development emerged from Chapter 10: Britain has enjoyed faster growth since 1951 than ever before; but growth was slower than recorded in most OECD countries; and commentators believed that the British economy could have grown faster. Chapter 10 also concluded that ‘big theories’ to explain relative decline (inappropriate demand management policies, a simple external constraint, structural problems or low social capability for catchup) lack conviction but the argument about supply-side weaknesses deserves consideration. This chapter reviews the performance of British industry since 1945 with particular reference to the impact of management and the institutional framework. The effects of labour on industrial performance will be a principal theme of Chapter 13.