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COVID recovery: What can we learn from post-World War II economic history?

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COVID recovery: What can we learn from post-World War II economic history?

Online Event (part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science)

Wednesday 24 November, 12.00pm

Register here

Now the UK is looking towards its economic recovery post-COVID, many modern commentators have called for a new settlement that models itself on post-World War II policy reform. The transition from war to peace in the years after 1945 is often regarded as a great British success story. The economy is seen to have moved rapidly to a golden age of economic growth and developed a welfare state that provided economic security ‘from the cradle to the grave’. But is such a model right for the UK in the 21st century? Or is nostalgia clouding our perspective?

In this online discussion, economic historian Nicholas Crafts and journalist and author Duncan Weldon will remove the rose-tinted glasses and explore both the positive and negative effects of post-war reform. Offering critical insights, the panel will investigate how lessons from history can help us build new economic policies for our post-pandemic future.


Bishnupriya Gupta, CAGE Research Director


Nicholas Crafts, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Warwick and Senior Research Fellow, CAGE

Duncan Weldon, Economist and author of Two Hundred Years of Muddling Through: The surprising story of Britain's economy from boom to bust and back again (Hachette: London, 2021)