This analysis explores the reasons behind French economic stagnation and discusses why this stagnant state is seemingly irrevocable. Based on a detailed look at the economic regime changes, market restructuring, and the resultant policy direction changes in France starting post-World War II, I contend that the reason for France’s current economic stagnation was their decision to join the EU, resulting in the shift away from dirigisme, a government interventionist economic approach, and toward a market oriented economy. While this assertion goes against the prevalent economic assumption that the market can efficiently govern itself, given the trajectory of the French economy post-market orientation this assumption does not hold true. Finally, as a result of the attenuating effects of market restructuring, the state promised excessive social protections to its citizens paralyzing future administrations in the way of policy reforms. Each subsequent attempt has resulted in either minimal change or uprisings and government acquiescence, thereby making stagnation inexorable.

First Advisor

Kate Stirling

Date of Completion

Fall 12-15-2016

Degree Type






Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Economics

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016


University of Puget Sound

Included in

Economics Commons