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Productivity Growth in the Industrial Revolution: A New Growth Accounting Perspective

  • CRAFTS, NICHOLAS

The issue of why productivity growth during the British industrial revolution was slow despite the arrival of famous inventions is revisited using a growth accounting methodology based on an embodied innovation model. The results highlight the relatively small and long-delayed impact of steam on productivity growth even when capital deepening is taken into account. Even so, technological change including embodiment effects accounted entirely for the acceleration in labor productivity growth that allowed the economy to achieve modern economic growth.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 64 (2004)
Issue (Month): 02 (June)
Pages: 521-535

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:64:y:2004:i:02:p:521-535_00
Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
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  1. Nicholas Crafts & Tony Venables, 2002. "Globalization in history: a geographical perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2135, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. David, P.A., 1989. "Computer And Dynamo: The Modern Productivity Paradox In A Not-Too Distant Mirror," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 339, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1.
    • Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1.
  4. Crafts, N. F. R., 1995. "Exogenous or Endogenous Growth? The Industrial Revolution Reconsidered," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 745-772, December.
  5. Greasley, David & Oxley, Les, 1997. "Endogenous Growth or “Big Bang”: Two views of the First Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 935-949, December.
  6. Antras, Pol & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2003. "Factor Prices and Productivity Growth During the British Industrial Revolution," Scholarly Articles 3199066, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  8. Devine, Warren D., 1983. "From Shafts to Wires: Historical Perspective on Electrification," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 347-372, June.
  9. M. Blaug, 1961. "The Productivity Of Capital In The Lancashire Cotton Industry During The Nineteenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 13(3), pages 358-381, 04.
  10. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
  11. N. F. R. Crafts & C. K. Harley, 1992. "Output growth and the British industrial revolution: a restatement of the Crafts-Harley view," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(4), pages 703-730, November.
  12. John W. Kanefsky, 1979. "Motive Power in British Industry and the Accuracy of the 1870 Factory Return," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 32(3), pages 360-375, 08.
  13. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Notes on Growth Accounting," NBER Working Papers 6654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Crafts, N. F. R., 1980. "National income estimates and the British standard of living debate: A reappraisal of 1801-1831," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 176-188, April.
  15. Nicholas Oulton, 2001. "ICT and productivity growth in the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 140, Bank of England.
  16. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  17. Harley, C. Knick, 1982. "British Industrialization Before 1841: Evidence of Slower Growth During the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 267-289, June.
  18. Crafts, N. F. R. & Mills, Terence C., 1997. "Endogenous Innovation, Trend Growth, and the British Industrial Revolution: Reply to Greasley and Oxley," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 950-956, December.
  19. Dirk Pilat & Frank C. Lee, 2001. "Productivity Growth in ICT-producing and ICT-using Industries: A Source of Growth Differentials in the OECD?," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2001/4, OECD Publishing.
  20. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2001. "Information technology and the U.S. productivity revival: what do the industry data say?," Staff Reports 115, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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