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Is the UK Productivity Slowdown Unprecedented?

Author

Listed:
  • Crafts, Nicholas

    (University of Warwick)

  • Mills, Terence C.

    (Loughborough University)

Abstract

We estimate trend UK labour productivity growth using a Hodrick-Prescott filter method. We use the results to compare downturns where the economy fell below its pre-existing trend. We find that the current productivity slowdown has resulted in productivity being 19.7% below the pre-2008 trend path in 2018. This is nearly double the previous worst productivity shortfall ten years after the start of a downturn. On this criterion the slowdown is unprecedented in the last 250 years. We conjecture that this reflects a combination of adverse circumstances, namely, a financial crisis, a weakening impact of ICT and impending Brexit.

Suggested Citation

  • Crafts, Nicholas & Mills, Terence C., 2019. "Is the UK Productivity Slowdown Unprecedented?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 429, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:429
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cristiano Andrea Ristuccia & Solomos Solomou, "undated". "Can general purpose technology theory explain economic growth? Electrical power as a case study," Working Papers 18, Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge.
    2. Cristiano Andrea Ristuccia & Solomos Solomou, 2014. "Editor's choice Can general purpose technology theory explain economic growth? Electrical power as a case study," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 227-247.
    3. Nicholas Crafts, 2004. "Steam as a general purpose technology: A growth accounting perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 338-351, April.
    4. E. H. Phelps Brown & S. J. Handfield-Jones, 1952. "THE CLIMACTERIC OF THE 1890's: A STUDY IN THE EXPANDING ECONOMY," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(3), pages 266-307.
    5. Crafts, Nicholas & Fearon, Peter (ed.), 2013. "The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199663187.
    6. repec:oup:oxford:v:34:y:2018:i:3:p:443-460. is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    8. Solomou, Solomos & Weale, Martin, 1991. "Balanced estimates of UK GDP 1870-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 54-63, January.
    9. Diane Coyle, 2017. "Do-it-yourself digital: the production boundary and the productivity puzzle," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2017-01, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Brexit; financial crisis; Hodrick-Prescott filter; ICT; productivity slowdown JEL Classification: C22; N13; N14; O47;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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