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Market Services and the Productivity Race, 1850–2000

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  • Broadberry,Stephen

Abstract

Now that services account for such a dominant part of economic activity, it has become apparent that achieving high levels of productivity in the economy requires high levels of productivity in services. This book offers a major reassessment of Britain's comparative productivity performance over the last 150 years. Whereas in the mid-nineteenth century Britain had higher productivity than the United States and Germany, by 1990 both countries had overtaken Britain. The key to achieving high productivity was the 'industrialisation' of market services, which involved both the serving of business and the provision of mass-market consumer services in a more business like fashion. Comparative productivity varied with the uneven spread of industrialised service sector provision across sectors. Stephen Broadberry provides a quantitative overview of these trends, together with a qualitative account of developments within individual sectors, including shipping, railways, road and air transport, telecommunications, wholesale and retail distribution, banking, and finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Broadberry,Stephen, 2009. "Market Services and the Productivity Race, 1850–2000," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521123143, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521123143
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Broadberry & Hanhui Guan & David Daokui Li, 2017. "China, Europe and the Great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _155, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C. & Mulatu, Abay, 2007. "Total factor productivity growth on Britain's railways, 1852-1912: A reappraisal of the evidence," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 608-634, October.
    3. Crafts, Nicholas, 2012. "British relative economic decline revisited: The role of competition," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 17-29.
    4. Nicholas Crafts & Timothy Leunig & Abay Mulatu, 2008. "Were British railway companies well managed in the early twentieth century? -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(4), pages 842-866, November.
    5. Bernd Görzig & Martin Gornig & Laurence Nayman, 2012. "Productivity Transitions in Large Mature Economies: France, Germany and the UK," Chapters,in: Industrial Productivity in Europe, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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