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Productivity and Machinery Investment: A Long Run Look 1870-1980

  • J. Bradford De Long

Over the past century the long-run growth of six economies shows a strong association between investment in machinery and economic growth that holds both within and across nations and periods. A similar strong association holds for the post-world War II period for a broader cross section of nations. A number of considerations suggest that this association is causal, and that a high rate of machinery investment is a necessary prerequisite for rapid long-run productivity growth - a hypothesis also supported by narratives from the history of technology.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department in its series J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers with number _118.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:calbec:_118
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  1. DeLong, J Bradford & Eichengreen, Barry, 1992. "The Marshall Plan: History's Most Successful Structural Adjustment Program," CEPR Discussion Papers 634, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. J. Bradford De Long, . "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  3. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
  4. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Chapters, in: Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870, pages 1-23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David, Paul A., 1977. "Invention and accumulation in america's economic growth: A nineteenth-century parable," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 179-228, January.
  6. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra56-1, December.
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