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Productivity Growth in the Industrial Revolution: A New Growth Accounting Perspective

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  • CRAFTS, NICHOLAS

Abstract

The issue of why productivity growth during the British industrial revolution was slow despite the arrival of famous inventions is revisited using a growth accounting methodology based on an embodied innovation model. The results highlight the relatively small and long-delayed impact of steam on productivity growth even when capital deepening is taken into account. Even so, technological change including embodiment effects accounted entirely for the acceleration in labor productivity growth that allowed the economy to achieve modern economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 64 (2004)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
Pages: 521-535

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:64:y:2004:i:02:p:521-535_00

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  1. Harley, C. Knick, 1982. "British Industrialization Before 1841: Evidence of Slower Growth During the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 267-289, June.
  2. John W. Kanefsky, 1979. "Motive Power in British Industry and the Accuracy of the 1870 Factory Return," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 32(3), pages 360-375, 08.
  3. Antras, Pol & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2003. "Factor Prices and Productivity Growth During the British Industrial Revolution," Scholarly Articles 3199066, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Crafts, N. F. R., 1980. "National income estimates and the British standard of living debate: A reappraisal of 1801-1831," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 176-188, April.
  5. Crafts, N. F. R. & Mills, Terence C., 1997. "Endogenous Innovation, Trend Growth, and the British Industrial Revolution: Reply to Greasley and Oxley," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 950-956, December.
  6. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  7. M. Blaug, 1961. "The Productivity Of Capital In The Lancashire Cotton Industry During The Nineteenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 13(3), pages 358-381, 04.
  8. N. F. R. Crafts & C. K. Harley, 1992. "Output growth and the British industrial revolution: a restatement of the Crafts-Harley view," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(4), pages 703-730, November.
  9. Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, October.
    • Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1, October.
  10. Barro, Robert J, 1999. " Notes on Growth Accounting," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 119-37, June.
  11. Nicholas Oulton, 2001. "ICT and productivity growth in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 140, Bank of England.
  12. Devine, Warren D., 1983. "From Shafts to Wires: Historical Perspective on Electrification," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 347-372, June.
  13. Crafts, N. F. R., 1995. "Exogenous or Endogenous Growth? The Industrial Revolution Reconsidered," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 745-772, December.
  14. Greasley, David & Oxley, Les, 1997. "Endogenous Growth or “Big Bang”: Two views of the First Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 935-949, December.
  15. Nicholas Crafts & Anthony J. Venables, 2002. "Globalization in History: A Geographical Perspective," CEP Discussion Papers dp0524, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  16. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  17. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2001. "Information technology and the U.S. productivity revival: what do the industry data say?," Staff Reports 115, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
  19. David, P.A., 1989. "Computer And Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox In A Not-Too Distant Mirror," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 339, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  20. Dirk Pilat & Frank C. Lee, 2001. "Productivity Growth in ICT-producing and ICT-using Industries: A Source of Growth Differentials in the OECD?," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2001/4, OECD Publishing.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.
  2. C. Knick Harley, 2013. "British and European Industrialization," Economics Series Working Papers Number 111, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-François & Zhu, Xiwei, 2014. "Technological Progress and Economic Geography," CEPR Discussion Papers 9901, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Mo, Pak Hung, 2011. "Entrepreneurs, Sticky Competition and the Schumpeterian Cobb-Douglas Production Function," MPRA Paper 28927, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Robert C. Allen, 2005. "Capital Accumulation, Technological Change, and the Distribution of Income during the British Industrial Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 239, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Mo, Pak Hung, 2011. "Institutions, Entrepreneurship and Channels to Sustained Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 28911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Nicholas Crafts, 2010. "Cliometrics and technological change: a survey," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1127-1147.
  8. Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2007. "Engel`s Pause: A Pessimist`s Guide to the British Industrial Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 315, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. van Ark, Bart & Smits, Jan Pieter, 2005. "Technology Regimes and Productivity Growth in Europe and the United States: A Comparative and Historical Perspective," Institute of European Studies, Working Paper Series qt1td1h23k, Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley.
  10. Nuvolari, Alessandro & Tartari, Valentina, 2011. "Bennet Woodcroft and the value of English patents, 1617-1841," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 97-115, January.
  11. Faruk Aydin & Hulya Saygili & Mesut Saygili & Gokhan Yilmaz, 2010. "Dis Ticarette Kuresel Egilimler ve Turkiye Ekonomisi," Working Papers 1001, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
  12. Henrekson, Magnus & Edquist, Harald, 2006. "Technological Breakthroughs and Productivity Growth," Working Paper Series 665, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  13. Edquist, Harald, 2005. "Do hedonic price indexes change history? The case of electrification," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 586, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Feb 2005.
  14. Sequeira, Tiago & Santos, Marcelo & Ferreira-Lopes, Alexandra, 2013. "Why Inventions Occurred in Some Countries and Not in Others?," MPRA Paper 51553, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Patrick O'Brien, 2007. "The triumph and denouement of the British fiscal state: taxation for the wars against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, 1793-1815," Economic History Working Papers 22319, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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