This paper surveys recent scholarship on the economic growth of Europe during its Golden Age, 1950 73, as represented by three recent collections of essays. The essays generally agree that rapid economic growth in the Golden Age originated in reconstruction from World War II. They explore several different arguments to explain why the Golden Age continued after reconstruction was complete and use a variety of economic tools to argue that the Golden Age was a transitory historical phenomenon. There is far more agreement on the origins of the Golden Age than on its demise. I suggest that insights from new growth theory are limited and that the end of the Golden Age may have been brought about by the shock of restrictive monetary policies used to combat inflation after the oil crises of the 1970s.
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