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Monday, February 12, 2007

Continental Europe: Getting out of the way?

Greg Mankiw links to an interesting column that has nothing to do with Pigouvian taxes ... Ed Phelps on Why European economies lag behind the U.S.:
The values that might impact dynamism are of special interest here. Relatively few in the Big Three report that they want jobs offering opportunities for achievement (42% in France and 54% in Italy, versus an average of 73% in Canada and the U.S.); chances for initiative in the job (38% in France and 47% in Italy, as against an average of 53% in Canada and the U.S.), and even interesting work (59% in France and Italy, versus an average of 71.5% in Canada and the U.K). Relatively few are keen on taking responsibility, or freedom (57% in Germany and 58% in France as against 61% in the U.S. and 65% in Canada), and relatively few are happy about taking orders (Italy 1.03, of a possible 3.0, and Germany 1.13, as against 1.34 in Canada and 1.47 in the U.S.).

So EUians don't want to lead or follow. As a result their relatively shrinking economies are getting out of the way.

Now if the US would just take a dynamic lead on efficient environmental policies...

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