IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/wpaper/64779.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941

Author

Listed:
  • Bakker, Gerben
  • Crafts, Nicholas
  • Woltjer, Pieter

Abstract

We develop new aggregate and sectoral Total Factor Productivity (TFP) estimates for the United States between 1899 and 1941 through better coverage of sectors and better measured labor quality, and show TFP-growth was lower than previously thought, broadly based across sectors, strongly variant intertemporally, and consistent with many diverse sources of innovation. We then test and reject three prominent claims. First, the 1930s did not have the highest TFP-growth of the twentieth century. Second, TFP-growth was not predominantly caused by four leading sectors. Third, TFP-growth was not caused by a ‘yeast process’ originating in a dominant technology such as electricity.

Suggested Citation

  • Bakker, Gerben & Crafts, Nicholas & Woltjer, Pieter, 2015. "A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941," Economic History Working Papers 64779, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:64779
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/64779/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paul A. David & Gavin Wright, 1999. "Early Twentieth Century Productivity Growth Dynamics: An Inquiry into the Economic History of "Our Ignorance"," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _033, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    2. 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.
    3. Bakker, Gerben, 2013. "Money for nothing: How firms have financed R&D-projects since the Industrial Revolution," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1793-1814.
    4. David M. Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2013. "Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 20-36, Spring.
    5. Stiroh, Kevin J, 2002. "Are ICT Spillovers Driving the New Economy?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(1), pages 33-57, March.
    6. Petra Moser & Alessandra Voena & Fabian Waldinger, 2014. "German Jewish ?migr?s and US Invention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3222-3255, October.
    7. Paul A. David & Gavin Wright, 1999. "Early Twentieth Century Productivity Growth Dynamics: An Inquiry into the Economic History of "Our Ignorance"," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _033, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    8. Bakker, Gerben, 2012. "How Motion Pictures Industrialized Entertainment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(04), pages 1036-1063, December.
    9. Moser, Petra & Voena, Alessandra & Waldinger, Fabian, 2014. "German Jewish émigrés and US invention," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68322, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. repec:aei:rpaper:37301 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nicholas Crafts, 2016. "The Rise and Fall of American Growth: Exploring the Numbers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 57-60, May.
    2. O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2015. "Economic impossibilities for our grandchildren?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. repec:spr:cliomt:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0149-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2015. "Economic Impossibilities For Our Grandchildren?," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _139, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Crafts, Nicholas & Klein, Alexander, 2015. "Agglomeration Economies and Productivity Growth: U.S. Cities, 1880-1930," CEPR Discussion Papers 10673, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Antonin Bergeaud & Gilbert Cette & Rémy Lecat, 2018. "The role of production factor quality and technology diffusion in twentieth-century productivity growth," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 12(1), pages 61-97, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Harberger diagram; mushrooms; productivity growth; total factor productivity; yeast;

    JEL classification:

    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 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
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:64779. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager on behalf of EH Dept.). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/chlseuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.