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At the origins of increased productivity growth in services. Productivity, social savings and the consumer surplus of the film industry, 1900-1938

Bakker, Gerben (2004) At the origins of increased productivity growth in services. Productivity, social savings and the consumer surplus of the film industry, 1900-1938. Economic History Working Papers, 81/04. Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper estimates and compares the benefits cinema technology generated to society in Britain, France and the US between 1900 and 1938. It is shown how cinema industrialised live entertainment, by standardisation, automation and making it tradable. The economic impact is measured in three ways: TFP-growth, social savings in 1938 and the consumer surplus enjoyed in 1938. Preliminary findings suggest that the entertainment industry accounted for 1.5 to 1.7 percent of national TFP-growth and for 0.9 to 1.6 percent of real GDP-growth in the three countries. Social savings were highest in the US (c. 2.5 billion dollars and three million workers) and relatively modest in Britain and France, possibly because of the relative abundance of skilled live-entertainment workers. Comparative social savings at entertainment PPP-ratios inflate British social savings to above the US level. Converging exchange rates and PPP price ratios suggest rapid international market integration. The paper’s methodology and findings may give insight in technological change in other service industries that were also industrialised.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/workingPaper...
Additional Information: © 2004 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 81/04
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2009 15:59
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/22348/

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