Here’s some data from the OECD on per capita GDP growth during the pre-recession (2001–2007) period:
I cut the graph off to make it fit, but some other countries (Greece, Ireland, Korea, parts of Central Europe) did even better than Finland. But two points that leapt out at me here were that Japan’s allegedly dysfunctional economy outperformed the United States and Germany during this period. The other thing is Italy — what happened here? And how come you never hear about it? That’s a terrible number. These numbers also reflect poorly on Italy. I suppose Italians can always fall back on the fact that they have this beautiful country and delicious food. Or maybe there’s been robust growth in Italy’s black market economy?