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Two Centuries of American Macroeconomic Growth From Exploitation of Resource Abundance to Knowledge-Driven Development

  • Paul A. David

    (All Souls College, Oxford & Stanford University)

This monograph is concerned with the nature of the process of macroeconomic growth that has characterized the U. S. experience, and manifested itself in the changing pace and sources of the continuing rise real output per capita over the course of the past two hundred years. A key observation that emerges from the long-term quantitative economic record is that the proximate sources of increases in real GDP per head in the century between 1889 and 1999 were quite different from those which obtained during the first hundred years of American national experience. Baldly put, the economy's ascent to a position of twentieth century global industrial leadership entailed a transition from growth based upon the interdependent development and extensive exploitation of its natural resources and the substitution of tangible capital for labor, towards a the maintenance of an productivity leadership through rising rates of intangible investment in the formation and exploitation of technological and organizational knowledge. The study's scope is indicated by the following:

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/0502/0502021.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0502021.

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Length: 216 pages
Date of creation: 10 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0502021
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 216
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Theodore W. Schultz, 1960. "Capital Formation by Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 571.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1996. "The Discovery of the Residual: A Historical Note," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1324-1330, September.
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  4. John A. James & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1984. "The Resolution of the Labor Scarcity Paradox," NBER Working Papers 1504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra56-1, October.
  6. Maddison, Angus, 1987. "Growth and Slowdown in Advanced Capitalist Economies: Techniques of Quantitative Assessment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 649-98, June.
  7. repec:fth:harver:1487 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Abramovitz, Moses & David, Paul A, 1973. "Reinterpreting Economic Growth: Parables and Realities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 428-39, May.
  9. J. Stanley Metcalfe, 1997. "The Evolutionary Explanation of Total Factor Productivity Growth : Macro Measurement and Micro Process," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 80(1), pages 93-114.
  10. Simon Kuznets & Ernest Rubin, 1954. "Immigration and the Foreign Born," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn54-1, October.
  11. G. C. Harcourt, 1962. "Productivity And Technical Change," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 38(83), pages 388-394, 09.
  12. Landes, David S., 1949. "French Entrepreneurship and Industrial Growth in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 45-61, May.
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