In this chapter we consider a form of economic planning adopted in an environment entirely different from that described in the previous two chapters. Since the war the French economy, although it has a large public sector, has been a predominantly private-enterprise economy; it has enjoyed relatively high growth rates of gross domestic product; and it has also had a system of economic planning which has now operated, if in different forms and with different objectives, for more than thirty years. The combination of these last two facts has led many economists to wonder how much of France’s growth can be attributed to the French system of planning. We consider this question in the final section of this chapter. First however, as in Chapter 2, we give accounts of how economic plans are constructed in France, and how they are implemented.
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