Two Hundred Years of Muddling Through: The surprising story of Britain's economy from boom to bust and back again
About this deal
Centuries of a largely agrarian economy vanished with the Industrial Revolution. Productivity and standards of living rose. The population and production moved from homes in the country to crowded towns. Increased coal production was needed to power mills. Canal traffic rose and railways boomed. The author points to vested interests being a powerful force in hampering economic progress. For example, politicians tried to manufacture pre-election booms which led to stop -go episodes. Union power prevented economic progress. Later the trade unions were reformed by Thatcher and this eventually led to an economic revival. Why did we British become so attached to the idea that we always muddle through? Perhaps we should blame Churchill, whose “Keep Buggering On” mantra became a national catchphrase during the Second World War. But are we really a nation of muddlers-through?
Years of Muddling Through: The surprising story Two Hundred Years of Muddling Through: The surprising story
A lot of the received wisdom in UK economic history in a nice concise and readable format. I felt the writing improved as the chapters came up to date with more of a narrative and less lists of figures. But I find more recent economic history most interesting so maybe that's just me. Cohen, M.D., J.G. March, and J.P. Olsen. 1972. A garbage can model of organizational choice. Administrative Science Quarterly 17: 1–25.How has Britain managed previous periods of economic change? On each occasion, how much has our economic future been shaped by our economic past? And what can today’s policy makers learn from our history as they navigate the decade of economic change to come? A central theme to the book is how the role and shape of the state has changed and adapted over time - not often for purely ‘ideological’ reasons, but more in response to economic developments and challenges, as well as the need to cope with huge global events (WW1 and WW2 loom large). The UK is, at the same time, both one of the world’s most successful economies and one of Europe’s laggards. The country contains some of Western Europe’s richest areas such as the south east of England, but also some of its poorest such as the north east or Wales. It’s really not much of an exaggeration to describe the UK, in economic terms, as ‘Portugal but with Singapore in the bottom corner’. Looking into the past helps understand why.
200 years of muddling through - Player FM Duncan Weldon on 200 years of muddling through - Player FM
We were delighted to get Duncan on to the podcast for a chat about the book and his reflections on the where the British economy may be heading as we recover from the Covid cataclysm. The UK is, at the same time, both one of the world's most successful economies and one of Europe's laggards. The country contains some of Western Europe's richest areas such as the south east of England, but also some of its poorest such as the north east or Wales. It's really not much of an exaggeration to describe the UK, in economic terms, as 'Portugal but with Singapore in the bottom corner'. Looking into the past helps understand why. For cost savings, you can change your plan at any time online in the “Settings & Account” section. If you’d like to retain your premium access and save 20%, you can opt to pay annually at the end of the trial.One of the traditions in the bounded rationality line of thinking is incrementalism – otherwise known as ‘muddling through’. It was conceived by Charles Lindblom in two key articles (Lindblom Public Adm Rev 19: 79–88, 1959; Public Adm Rev 39: 517–526, 1979), and it has influenced the management literature in several ways. Keywords