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The Free Market Lives On in France

In his latest book, Nobel Prize-winning French economist Jean Tirole addresses the problems of the modern economy with market-based solutions.

From an American perspective, the French have never embraced the free market. France has the second-highest ratio of spending to GDP and the fourth-highest rate of taxation among all OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] nations — outpaced only by its Scandinavian neighbors. France’s new president Emmanuel Macron, a former economic minister and investment banker, is committed to restructuring the French economy. It’s too early to bet that he will succeed, as his reform campaign has pitted him against the various vested interests within the nation’s public sector.

In his fight for market reforms, Macron can, however, count on the support of the French economic intelligentsia. Thomas Piketty’s 2014 bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century may have fixed in the popular imagination the image of the French socialist professor, but France’s most renowned economists firmly support free markets, and have done so for decades. Economics for the

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