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Growth accounting in items of turbulence and death: efficiency, technology, capital accumulation and human capital 1929-1950

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  • Kerstin Enflo
  • Jörg Baten

Abstract

We employ a non-parametrical approach to growth accounting (Data Envelopment Analysis, DEA) to disentangle the proximate sources of labour productivity growth in 41 nations between 1929 and 1950 by decomposing productivity growth into four components: technological change; efficiency catch-up (movements towards the production frontier), capital accumulation and human capital accumulation. We show that efficiency catch-up generally explains productivity growth, whereas technological change and factor accumulation were limited and distorted by the effects of war. War clearly hampered efficiency. Moreover, an unbalanced ratio of human capital to physical capital (a gap to the technological leader) was crucial for efficiency catching-up.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerstin Enflo & Jörg Baten, 2007. "Growth accounting in items of turbulence and death: efficiency, technology, capital accumulation and human capital 1929-1950," Economics Working Papers 1024, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1024
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
    2. Duffy, John & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2000. "A Cross-Country Empirical Investigation of the Aggregate Production Function Specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 87-120, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    DEA; growth accounting; productivity; interwar period;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • 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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