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Institutions and Long-Run Growth in the UK: the Role of Standards

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Temple

    (University of Surrey)

  • Robert Witt

    (University of Surrey)

  • Chris Spencer

    (University of Surrey)

Abstract

In this paper we consider the relationship between the standards created by national standards bodies and long run economic growth, exploring the relationship in the context of the UK and the British Standards Institution (BSI). We suggest that standards provide a key enabling mechanism for the widespread diffusion of major technologies, while being generally supportive of incremental innovation and general technological understanding. In order to further understanding of this mechanism we measure the ‘output’ of the BSI by estimating the size of the BSI ‘catalogue’ available to the economy since its inception in 1901. The measure allows us to estimate an augmented production function for the UK economy over the period 1948-2002. Within a co-integrating framework, we find a statistically significant and unique co-integrating vector between labour productivity, the capital-labour ratio, exogenous technological progress and the BSI catalogue. The long-run elasticity of labour productivity with respect to the standards stock is estimated to be about 0.05, so that the rapid growth of the catalogue in the postwar period is associated with about 13% of the aggregate growth in labour productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Temple & Robert Witt & Chris Spencer, 2004. "Institutions and Long-Run Growth in the UK: the Role of Standards," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1004, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  • Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:1004
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    File URL: https://repec.som.surrey.ac.uk/2004/DP10-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-361, May.
    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. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
    4. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Knut Blind & Andre Jungmittag, 2008. "The impact of patents and standards on macroeconomic growth: a panel approach covering four countries and 12 sectors," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 51-60, February.
    2. Productivity Commission, 2006. "Standard Setting and Laboratory Accreditation," Research Reports, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia, number 22.
    3. Hany El Shamy & Paul Temple, 2008. "Entrepreneurship, Spillovers and Productivity Growth in the Small Firm Sector of UK Manufacturing," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0708, School of Economics, University of Surrey.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    standards; technological change; productivity.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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