Personal impressions of Britain after spending six months as a visitor at Nuffield College, Oxford. The author compares social patterns and prevailing attitudes in Britain with those in the United States and finds: courtesy rather than competition; emphasis on form rather than performance; devotion to continuity rather than innovation; and commitment to culture rather than efficiency. Two puzzles about Britain that remain unresolved are described: the apparent reconciliation of social conservatism with political radicalism; and the question of how classical economics could have originated in an economic environment apparently more congenial to collaboration, collusion, and clubbiness than to Adam Smith's views of competitive market behavior. The author concludes with comments on Britain's current economic problems and government policies. In general, Britain's economic outlook is not bright, yet there are some favorable signs.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
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