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Abstract

This paper assesses the legacy of the Marshall Plan on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of General George Marshall's historic commencement address at Harvard University. I suggest that the circumstances today are very different from those which motivated Marshall's initiative in 1947. After World War II international capital markets were repressed and demoralized; today they are flourishing. Now that international capital markets are vibrant again, the problem for policy is no longer that of the 1940s. The response developed by Marshall and his colleagues is no longer appropriate. But Marshall's key insight, that a market economy needs institutional and policy support to function effectively, is as timely today as 50 years ago.

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