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Productivity Growth during the First Industrial Revolution: Inferences from the Pattern of British External Trade

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Knick Harley & N.F.R. Crafts, 1998. "Productivity Growth during the First Industrial Revolution: Inferences from the Pattern of British External Trade," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9815, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:9815
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    File URL: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1325&context=economicsresrpt
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    1. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    2. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
    3. Leith, J. Clark, 1992. "The static welfare economics of a small developing country's membership in a customs union: Botswana in the Southern African Customs Union," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 1021-1028, July.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522543, December.
    5. Olson, Mancur, 1993. "Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 567-576, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kenny, Charles & Williams, David, 2001. "What Do We Know About Economic Growth? Or, Why Don't We Know Very Much?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-22, January.
    2. Antras, Pol & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2003. "Factor prices and productivity growth during the British industrial revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 52-77, January.
    3. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Pessôa, Samuel de Abreu & Santos, Marcelo Rodrigues dos, 2014. "Globalization and the Industrial Revolution (revised)," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 762, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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