Title: Wirtschaftswunder Liechtenstein
Economic miracle Liechtenstein
Hospodářský zázrak Lichtenštejnsko
Source document: Studia historica Brunensia. 2020, vol. 67, iss. 2, pp. 103-113
ISSN1803-7429 (print)2336-4513 (online)
License: Not specified license
The Principality of Liechtenstein is often referred to in contemporary journalism as an "economic miracle". It is also sometimes said that Liechtenstein experienced "three golden decades" between the early 1940s and the early 1970s. Of course, the country's economic development also brings with it certain negative phenomena, such as environmental damage, the breakdown of traditional values, high land prices, and dependence on labour from abroad. Nevertheless, the country's economic boom is a remarkable fact worthy of attention, inter alia also in the context of economic history. In 1930, gross domestic product per capita in Liechtenstein was 30 percent lower than in Switzerland; there was major economic growth from the 1960s, and by 2000 it was 30 percent higher than in Switzerland. Liechtenstein's economic growth brought about a great need for manpower, which is why many employees began to come to the country from abroad, especially from its neighbouring countries. At this time, Liechtenstein companies also began to expand beyond the borders of Liechtenstein. As of 2018, a total of 10,411 employees of companies belonging to the Liechtenstein Chamber of Industry and Commerce are reported as working directly in the country, with 58,072 employees working for Liechtenstein companies operating abroad. As for employees in the banking sector, which also experienced unprecedented growth, there were a total of 2,064 in Liechtenstein as of the year in question, and 3,800 people worked for Liechtenstein banks abroad. An important indicator of economic prosperity is the tax burden. The tax quota, i.e. state and municipal revenues and revenues from social security and health insurance premiums in relation to gross domestic product, accounted for only 19.6% in Liechtenstein in 2017. For comparison, in the USA it was 27.1% and in France 46.2% The net worth of the Principality of Liechtenstein in 2017 amounted to CHF 1,613 million at the municipal level (annual expenditure 5.9) and CHF 2,652 million at the state level (annual expenditure 3.4). Public finances have recovered even from the last financial crisis thanks to the economic programmes of 2012–2016, which is why Liechtenstein continues to maintain the highest possible financial rating.