Having sponsored a major study of the British economy in the late 1960s, the Brookings Institution has taken a look at a decade of slow growth, high unemployment, and inflation mitigated by North Sea oil. This first-rate team shows that quite a few popular diagnoses of the problem have only limited validity. Britain is buffeted by the ills that beset most countries, but its peculiar trouble, the authors conclude, "stems largely from its productivity problem, whose origins lie deep in the social system." There are only a few ways out.
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