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The Long Run Growth and Productivity Performance of the United Kingdom


  • Broadberry, S N


This paper examines Britain's long run growth and productivity performances since the late nineteenth century, taking an international comparative perspective and disaggregating by sector. Britain was richer than the United States and Germany in 1870 largely because of high levels of labor productivity in services and agriculture rather than in industry, together with a highly favorable structure, particularly a small share of the labor force in agriculture. By 1990, the productivity gap in manufacturing had not grown bigger. Rather, the deterioration in Britain's overall comparative labor productivity position has been concentrated in services and agriculture, together with the effect of structural change, particularly the later shift of labor out of agriculture in the United States and Germany. Copyright 1997 by Scottish Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Broadberry, S N, 1997. "The Long Run Growth and Productivity Performance of the United Kingdom," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(4), pages 403-424, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:44:y:1997:i:4:p:403-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wolfgang Scheremet, 1995. "Tarifpolitik in Ostdeutschland: Ausstieg aus dem Lohnverhandlungsmodell der Bundesrepublik Deutschland?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 113, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Lars Calmfors, 1993. "Centralisation of Wage Bargaining and Macroeconomic Performance: A Survey," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 131, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. A. Bergeaud & G. Cette & R. Lecat, 2015. "GDP per capita in advanced countries over the 20th century," Working papers 549, Banque de France.
    2. Antonin Bergeaud & Gilbert Cette & Rémy Lecat, 2014. "Le produit intérieur brut par habitant sur longue période en France et dans les pays avancés : le rôle de la productivité et de l’emploi," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 474(1), pages 5-34.
    3. Bergeaud, A. & Cette, G. & Lecat, R., 2015. "Productivity trends from 1890 to 2012 in advanced countries," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 07, June..
    4. Stijepic, Denis & Wagner, Helmut, 2008. "Impacts of Intermediate Trade on Structural Change," MPRA Paper 40841, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Aug 2012.
    5. Stijepic, Denis & Wagner, Helmut, 2009. "Population-ageing, structural change and productivity growth," MPRA Paper 37005, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Feb 2012.

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