This book upturns many established ideas regarding the economic and
social history of Quebec, the Canadian province that is home to the
majority of its French population. It places the case of Quebec
into the wider question of convergence in economic history and
whether proactive governments delay or halt convergence. The period
from 1945 to 1960, infamously labelled the Great Gloom (Grande
Noirceur), was in fact a breaking point where the previous decades
of relative decline were overturned - Geloso argues that this era
should be considered the Great Convergence (Grand Rattrapage). In
opposition, the Quiet Revolution that followed after 1960 did not
accelerate these trends. In fact, there are signs of slowing down
and relative decline that appear after the 1970s. The author posits
that the Quiet Revolution sowed the seeds for a growth slowdown by
crowding-out social capital and inciting rent-seeking behaviour on
the part of interest groups.
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