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Knowledge, natural resource abundance and economic development: Lessons from New Zealand 1861-1939

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  • Greasley, David
  • Oxley, Les

Abstract

We explore the role of knowledge accumulation in the economic development of a natural resource-rich country. New estimates of commodity output and patenting are used to show New Zealand's exceptionally high incomes before 1939 rested on a knowledge-led utilization of her economic landscape. By investigating the cointegrating and causal relationships among the output of 25 industries we show that a small number of leading industries formed development blocks. In turn most leading industries were driven by knowledge growth as reflected in patent statistics. Knowledge accumulation helped to transform the farming landscape and integrate farm and factory within a New Zealand system of mass production.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 443-459

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:47:y:2010:i:4:p:443-459

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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Keywords: Growth Development blocks Patents Common trends Causality Commodity output New Zealand;

References

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  1. Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1988. "Inventive Activity in Early Industrial America: Evidence From Patent Records, 1790 - 1846," NBER Working Papers 2707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  5. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Working Papers 178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. Sokoloff, Kenneth L. & Khan, B. Zorina, 1990. "The Democratization of Invention During Early Industrialization: Evidence from the United States, 1790–1846," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 363-378, June.
  7. Greasley, David & Oxley, Les, 2000. "Measuring New Zealand's GDP 1865-1933: A Cointegration-Based Approach," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(3), pages 351-68, September.
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  11. David, Paul A & Wright, Gavin, 1997. "Increasing Returns and the Genesis of American Resource Abundance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 203-45, March.
  12. Magee, Gary Bryan, 1999. "Technological Development and Foreign Patenting: Evidence from 19th-Century Australia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 344-359, October.
  13. Kerstin Enflo & Astrid Kander & Lennart Schön, 2008. "Identifying development blocks—a new methodology," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 57-76, February.
  14. Clark, Andrew H., 1945. "The Historical Explanation of Land Use in New Zealand," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 215-230, November.
  15. KevinH. O'Rourke, 2007. "Culture, Conflict and Cooperation: Irish Dairying Before the Great War," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1357-1379, October.
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  17. Petra Moser & Tom Nicholas, 2004. "Was Electricity a General Purpose Technology? Evidence from Historical Patent Citations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 388-394, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Simon Ville & Olav Wicken, 2013. "The dynamics of resource-based economic development: evidence from Australia and Norway," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(5), pages 1341-1371, October.

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