Productivity Growth during the First Industrial Revolution: Inferences from the Pattern of British External Trade
This paper examines British trade and growth in general equilibrium. It rejects Peter Temin's contention that the Crafts-Harley 'new view' of sectorally concentrated productivity growth during the Industrial Revolution is inconsistent with actual industrial exports. A CGE trade model with diminishing returns in agriculture that also emphasizes demand conditions indicates that while technological change in cottons and iron were major spurs to exports, the demand for food imports generated by population growth and diminishing returns in agriculture also stimulated trade. The trade data are compatible with the 'new view' and any implied adjustment to TFP growth estimates is slight.
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