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Measuring our ignorance, one book at a time: New indicators of technological change, 1909-1949

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  • Alexopoulos, Michelle
  • Cohen, Jon

Abstract

New indicators of technological change in the US based on information drawn from the catalogue of the Library of Congress for the period 1909-1949 are developed and used to pinpoint the relationship, first, between technical change and economic activity, and, second, between fluctuations in innovative activity and the Great Depression. Although links between technological change, output and productivity are found, results suggest that the slowdown in technological progress in the early 1930s did not contribute significantly to the Great Depression. On the other hand, the remarkable acceleration in innovations after 1934 did play a role in the recovery.

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  • Alexopoulos, Michelle & Cohen, Jon, 2009. "Measuring our ignorance, one book at a time: New indicators of technological change, 1909-1949," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 450-470, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:4:p:450-470
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    1. Remember: Sticky-Wage Keynesianism is a Supply Side Theory, by Garett Jones
      by ? in Econlog on 2013-03-17 15:00:52

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle Alexopoulos & Jon Cohen, 2012. "The Effects of Computer Technologies on the Canadian Economy: Evidence from New Direct Measures," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 23, pages 17-32, Spring.
    2. Cette, Gilbert & Fernald, John & Mojon, Benoît, 2016. "The pre-Great Recession slowdown in productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 3-20.
    3. Samira Hasanzadeh, 2017. "Dissemination of Two Faces of Knowledge: Do Liberal-Democracy and Income-Level Matter?," Carleton Economic Papers 17-09, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    4. John G. Fernald, 2015. "Productivity and Potential Output before, during, and after the Great Recession," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51.
    5. Alexopoulos, Michelle & Tombe, Trevor, 2012. "Management matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 269-285.
    6. Michele Cavallo & Tao Wu, 2006. "Measuring oil-price shocks using market-based information," Working Paper Series 2006-28, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    7. Fernald, John G., 2016. "Reassessing Longer-Run U.S. Growth: How Low?," Working Paper Series 2016-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    8. Tsai, I-Chun, 2017. "The source of global stock market risk: A viewpoint of economic policy uncertainty," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 122-131.
    9. Hashmat Khan & John Tsoukalas, 2011. "Effects of Productivity Shocks on Employment: UK Evidence (revised 25 February 2013)," Carleton Economic Papers 11-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2013.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technical change Productivity Great Depression;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations

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