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New Goods and the Transition to a New Economy

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  • Jeremy Greenwood
  • Gokce Uysal

Abstract

The U.S. went through a remarkable structural transformation between 1800 and 2000. In 1800 the majority of people worked in agriculture. Barely anyone did by 2000. What caused the rapid demise of agriculture in the economy? The analysis here concentrates on the development of new consumer goods associated with technological progress. The introduction of new goods into the framework lessens the need to rely on satiation points, subsistence levels of consumption, and the like. The analysis suggests that between 1800 and 2000 economic welfare grew by at least 1.5 percent a year, and maybe as much as 10 percent annually, the exact number depending upon the metric preferred.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10793.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10793

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