Switzerland is undoubtedly among the most affluent states in the world. What is much less clear, though, is when its economy became so successful and its people so wealthy – that is to date the so-called “Swiss miracle”. This analysis concludes that while the Swiss economy as a whole improved early and was already among the most successful around 1900, its workers did up to World War I benefit considerably less from economic growth than their colleagues in many other European countries. The paper therefore suggests that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the rise of Swiss living standards to take a top position internationally was clearly a phenomenon of the short 20th century
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