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Long run dynamics of productivity growth


  • Angus Maddison


The paper analyses the developments in labour productivity over the past century and examines the factors which explain variations in its pace of growth. The author distinguishes four main phases: 1870-1913, 1913-50, 1950-70 and the 1970s. The main question at hand is why the postwar record has been so brilliant by historical standards, and to the contrary why it has slackened in the 1970s. The author concludes that the postwar situation, which favored high and relatively steady expansion of demand, was interrupted by policy changes which brought on new rules of behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Angus Maddison, 1979. "Long run dynamics of productivity growth," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 32(128), pages 3-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:psl:bnlaqr:1979:11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Murphy, Antoin E, 1978. "Money in an Economy without Banks: The Case of Ireland," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 46(1), pages 41-50, March.
    2. Liviatan, N., 1993. "Proceedings of a Conference on Currency Substitution and currency Boards," World Bank - Discussion Papers 207, World Bank.
    3. Bradley, John & FitzGerald, John & Hurley, David & O'Sullivan, Liam & Storey, Andrew, 1989. "HERMES-IRELAND A Model of the Irish Economy: Structure and Performance," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BMI52.
    4. Kent Osband & Delano Villanueva, 1993. "Independent Currency Authorities: An Analytic Primer," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(1), pages 202-216, March.
    5. Honohan, Patrick & Conroy, Charles, 1994. "Irish Interest Rate Fluctuations in The European Monetary System," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS165.
    6. Honohan, Patrick, 1992. "The Link between Irish and UK Unemployment," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 1992(1-Spring).
    7. Fischer, Stanley, 1982. "Seigniorage and the Case for a National Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 295-313, April.
    8. John Curtis & John FitzGerald, 1994. "Convergence in an Open Labour Market," Papers WP045, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    9. Schwartz, Anna J., 1993. "Currency boards: their past, present, and possible future role," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 147-187, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Jue & Liu, Xiaming & Wei, Yingqi & Wang, Chengang, 2014. "Cultural Proximity and Local Firms’ catch up with Multinational Enterprises," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1-13.
    2. Landon-Lane, John S. & Robertson, Peter E., 2009. "Long-run growth in the OECD: A test of the parallel growth paths hypothesis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 346-355, July.
    3. Robert Boyer & Pascal Petit, 1981. "Progrès technique, croissance et emploi : Un modèle d'inspiration kaldorienne pour six industries européennes," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 32(6), pages 1113-1153.
    4. Gilbert Abraham-Frois & Pierre Malgrange, 2001. "Présentation générale," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 150(4), pages 89-94.

    More about this item


    productivity; labour; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy


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