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The Sources of British Economic Growth since the Industrial Revolution : Not the Same Old Story

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  • Crafts, Nicholas

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper updates the classic growth accounting research of the early 1980s taking account of improved data that has subsequently become available. The picture of long-run growth which results from incorporating many revisions is considerably different. The long-run path of productivity growth is now that of a roller-coaster with twin peaks in the third quarters of the 19th and 20th centuries rather than a U-shape. Productivity growth appears to have been very slow to accelerate in the Industrial Revolution, the notion of an Edwardian climacteric is not persuasive and the current productivity slowdown stands out as unprecedented.

Suggested Citation

  • Crafts, Nicholas, 2019. "The Sources of British Economic Growth since the Industrial Revolution : Not the Same Old Story," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1216, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1216
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. N. F. R. Crafts & C. K. Harley, 1992. "Output growth and the British industrial revolution: a restatement of the Crafts-Harley view," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(4), pages 703-730, November.
    2. Nicholas Crafts, 2004. "Steam as a general purpose technology: A growth accounting perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 338-351, April.
    3. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1, November.
    4. Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2001. "The Longest Years: New Estimates Of Labor Input In England, 1760–1830," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 1065-1082, December.
    5. Crafts, N F R & Leybourne, S J & Mills, Terence C, 1989. "The Climacteric in Late Victorian Britain and France: A Reappraisal of the Evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(2), pages 103-117, April-Jun.
    6. Gerben Bakker & Nicholas Crafts & Pieter Woltjer, 2019. "The Sources of Growth in a Technologically Progressive Economy: The United States, 1899–1941," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(622), pages 2267-2294.
    7. Solomou, Solomos & Weale, Martin, 1991. "Balanced estimates of UK GDP 1870-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 54-63, January.
    8. Venetia Bell & Pablo Burriel-Llombart & Jerry Jones, 2005. "A quality-adjusted labour input series for the United Kingdom (1975-2002)," Bank of England working papers 280, Bank of England.
    9. Temin, Peter, 2002. "The Golden Age of European growth reconsidered," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 3-22, April.
    10. Alexandra M. de Pleijt, 2018. "Human capital formation in the long run: evidence from average years of schooling in England, 1300–1900," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 12(1), pages 99-126, January.
    11. E. H. Phelps Brown & S. J. Handfield-Jones, 1952. "THE CLIMACTERIC OF THE 1890's: A STUDY IN THE EXPANDING ECONOMY," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(3), pages 266-307.
    12. Antonin Bergeaud & Gilbert Cette & Rémy Lecat, 2016. "Productivity Trends in Advanced Countries between 1890 and 2012," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(3), pages 420-444, September.
    13. Crafts, Nicholas, 2014. "Productivity Growth during the British Industrial Revolution: Revisionism Revisited," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 204, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    14. Feinstein, Charles H., 1998. "Pessimism Perpetuated: Real Wages and the Standard of Living in Britain during and after the Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 625-658, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climacteric ; Golden Age ; Growth Accounting ; Industrial Revolution ; Productivity Growth ; Productivity Puzzle;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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