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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

Suggested Citation

  • Broadberry, S N & Fremdling, Rainer, 1990. "Comparative Productivity in British and German Industry 1907-37," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(4), pages 403-421, Special I.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:52:y:1990:i:4:p:403-21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. repec:pje:journl:article1982winii is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John C. H. Fei & Gustav Ranis & Shirley W. Y. Kuo, 1978. "Growth and the Family Distribution of Income by Factor Components," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 17-53.
    4. Glewwe, Paul, 1986. "The distribution of income in Sri Lanka in 1969-1970 and 1980-1981 : A decomposition analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 255-274.
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    6. Fields, Gary S, 1979. "Income Inequality in Urban Colombia: A Decomposition Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, pages 327-341.
    7. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 151-156.
    8. Hans De Kruijk, 1987. "Sources of Income Inequality in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, pages 659-672.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giordano, Claire & Giugliano, Ferdinando, 2015. "A tale of two Fascisms: Labour productivity growth and competition policy in Italy, 1911–1951," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 25-38.
    2. Ritschl, Albrecht, 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.
    3. Broadberry, Stephen & Burhop, Carsten, 2008. "Resolving the Anglo-German Industrial Productivity Puzzle, 1895–1935: A Response to Professor Ritschl," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 930-934, September.
    4. Ark, Bart van, 1999. "Accumulation, productivity and technology: measurement and analysis of long term economic growth," CCSO Working Papers 199908, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    5. Fremdling Rainer, 2005. "The German Industrial Census of 1936. Statistics as Preparation for the War," Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, De Gruyter, vol. 46(2), pages 155-166, December.
    6. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tobias A. Jopp, 2015. "Did closures do any good? Labour productivity, mine dynamics, and rationalization in interwar Ruhr coal-mining," Working Papers 0085, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.

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