Models of economic growth During the 1950s, in the period of the Wirtschaftswunder (“economic miracle”) economic growth rates in the Federal Republic of Germany were spectacular, but they declined from the 1950s onwards.1 There are various models which try to explain the astonishing economic growth in the 1950s and its gradual decline. The most popular of them are the “structural change model”, the “long wave model” and the “reconstruction model”. Whereas the structural change model stresses the new factors which influenced the economic development of the Federal Republic of Germany from the 1950s onwards the two other models emphasise aspects of continuity from the 1870s.2