Modern France is often referred to as the "sick man of Europe." With attention focused on the all-pervasive role of the state, Mr. Baum makes a revealing diagnosis. He provides a full view into the structure and performance of the French economy, dealing first with government efforts to solve certain general problems: reconstruction of the economic system, controlling cycles of inflation and recession, and closing the large gap in the balance of payments. After discussing the state's traditional role of public financier and its less orthodox role as entrepreneur in the large sector of the economy now under public ownership, he shows how the state acts as a regulator of private enterprise in industry and agriculture. Mr. Baum’s extensive use of original French source material and discussions with French officials in business and government make this book a unique contribution to understanding modern France.
Originally published in 1958.
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