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The Liberal Experience in France, 1926-1986
Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
Centralised, centralist France is not exactly a country given over to liberal economic policies. In the 20th century, it has tended to emphasise the strength of the state, regulating the economy and redistributing income in true Keynesian fashion. Nonetheless, during the course of the century, three politicians have implemented distinctly liberal economic salvage measures in net contrast with the more general tendency towards statism. Raymond Poincaré in 1926, Antoine Pinay in 1952 and 1958 and Edouard Balladur in 1986 were the three finance ministers who stopped the state in its tracks by restoring liberty to savings and enterprise. The methods used evolved over time. Whereas Poincaré and Pinay oriented saving towards the state to right precarious financial situations, Balladur developed the concept of popular capitalism by orienting saving towards industry and business. Now, with the single European market only 18 months away, France must "turn liberal" once more and then follow in the footsteps of these three economists.