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Electricity Diffusion and Trend Acceleration in Inter-War Manufacturing Productivity

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  • Ristuccia , C.A.
  • Solomou, S.

Abstract

This paper evaluates the link between the diffusion of electricity and the increase in labour productivity growth in the manufacturing sector during the inter-war period. A comparative analysis of the USA, Britain, Germany, and Japan shows that the trend acceleration in labour productivity is common to all these countries except Germany and is correlated with electricity diffusion. Germany’s labour productivity growth was nevertheless sustained in 1925 - 1938. The USA saw an earlier acceleration because the diffusion of electricity-based general-purpose technologies in production was much faster than in the other countries examined.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/wp0202.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0202.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0202

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

Related research

Keywords: economic growth; economic history; productivity; long swings;

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  1. Broadberry,Stephen & O'Rourke,Kevin H., 2010. "The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521882033, October.
  2. Paul A. David & Gavin Wright, 2005. "Early Twentieth Century Productivity Growth Dynamics: An Inquiry into the Economic History of “Our Ignorance”," Macroeconomics 0502023, EconWPA.
  3. Paul A. David & Gavin Wright, 1999. "General Purpose Technologies and Surges in Productivity: Historical Reflections on the Future of the ICT Revolution," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _031, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
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