Long run dynamics of productivity growth
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.
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