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Comparative Productivity in British and German Industry 1907-37

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  • Broadberry, S N
  • Fremdling, Rainer

Abstract

Using data on physical output per worker for twenty-three industries, it is shown that contrary to popular belief, German industry had not forged ahead of Britain by the 1930s. The pattern of Britain's comparative advantage is reflected in the fact that, although German productivity was substantially higher in heavy industry, British productivity was above German levels in light industry. Relative plant size is shown to be the most important approximate determinant of German/U.K. productivity levels. It is argued that cartelization was important in explaining the failure of Britain and Germany to close the productivity gap with the United States. Copyright 1990 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics & Statistics.

Volume (Year): 52 (1990)
Issue (Month): 4 (Special Issue, November)
Pages: 403-21

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:52:y:1990:i:4:p:403-21

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Cited by:
  1. Claire Giordano & Ferdinando Giugliano, 2012. "A Tale of Two Fascisms: Labour Productivity Growth and Competition Policy in Italy, 1911-1951," Quaderni di storia economica (Economic History Working Papers) 28, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Albrecht Ritschl, 2006. "The Anglo-German Industrial Productivity Paradox, 1895-1938: A Restatement and a Possible Resolution," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-048, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  3. Jong, H. de & Woltjer, P., 2009. "A Comparison of Real Output and Productivity for British and American Manufacturing in 1935," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-108, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  4. Stephen Broadberry & Carsten Burhop, 2008. "Resolving the Anglo-German Industrial Productivity Puzzle, 1895-1935: A Response to Professor Ritschl," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_27, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  5. Albrecht Ritschl, 2008. "The Anglo-German productivity puzzle, 1895-1935: a restatement and a possible resolution," Economic History Working Papers 22309, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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