Infotech Daniel Cohen: “We could have avoided the ‘Unfortunate Fifty'”

Daniel Cohen: “We could have avoided the ‘Unfortunate Fifty'”





The opening of European trade was followed in the 1980s and 1990s by the shock of globalisation. Fueled by the breakthrough of digital technology and by the entry into the market of former communist countries, encouraged by the neoliberal ideology that developed in the wake of Ronald Reagan, this phenomenon has upset traditional economic and social structures and made the horizon of the French uncertain. With profound consequences on political life. Interview with Daniel Cohen, president of the Paris School of Economics and columnist at “l’Obs”.

France has been caught, like other nations, in the turmoil of globalization. What were the main steps?

The 1960s were a period of overhauling France’s relations with the world, with the rise of the common market on the one hand, and the break with the colonial past on the other. This is the golden age of the opening up of world trade. We then move away from the classic theory, formulated by Ricardo, according to which we never trade better than between dissimilar countries: I make textiles, you make agricultural products, we exchange our products by strengthening our specializations. The pioneers of European construction had the opposite intuition: the more alike we are, the more there is to trade. Because we increase the size of the business market. They make economies of scale, which promotes innovation, quality and product diversity. This opening of the



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