The concept of economic miracles began in the 18th century and continues today. Economic miracles involve periods of extraordinary, unexpected, and explosive development. The concept applies to a number of countries that experienced rapid economic expansion at different times, in different geographies, and using different approaches. A “tiger economy” describes a country’s rapid economic development, coupled with a corresponding rise in the standard of living.

The Elements of a Miracle

No clear blueprint exists from which economic miracles emerge, though common themes are present. Ludwig Erhard, Germany’s economic minister, denied the miracles in the post–World War II economic expansion of Germany. Other architects characterize economic miracles as “getting the basics right.”

In the neoclassical growth model, Robert Solow describes long-term growth as driven by population dynamics and technical ...

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