Article

A Restructured Economy: From the Oil Crisis to the Financial Crisis, 1973–2009

Ivan T. Berend

in The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199560981
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199560981.013.0020

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 A Restructured Economy: From the Oil Crisis to the Financial Crisis, 1973–2009

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During the quarter of a century that followed World War II, Western Europe enjoyed the most spectacular prosperity in history. While the population of Western Europe increased by less than 20 per cent, the gross domestic product rose by 286 per cent. Economists explained that depression and economic crisis were things of the past. In mid-October 1973, however, a dramatic event ended European prosperity. The Arab oil-exporting countries made a political decision against the West by introducing an oil embargo, increasing prices. Six years later, a second oil crisis followed, and, between 1973 and 1980, led altogether to a tenfold increase in oil prices. It soon turned out that the politically ignited oil crisis simply made the crisis manifest. Most paradoxically, the postwar prosperity in Europe undermined itself, and paved the way for a deep economic crisis. This article examines the ideological consequences of the dual economic and political crises of the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on neoliberal revolution, de-statisation, and deregulation. It also discusses the financial crisis and the economic restructuring in Europe.

Keywords: economic restructuring; Europe; oil crisis; economic crisis; financial crisis; de-statisation; deregulation; oil prices

Article.  8210 words. 

Subjects: History ; European History ; Contemporary History (Post 1945) ; Economic History

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