Crafts, Nicholas, Leunig, Tim and Mulatu, Abay (2007) Were British railway companies well-managed in the early twentieth century? Working papers in large-scale technological change, 10/07. Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
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This paper examines major privately-owned British railway companies before World War I. Quantitative evidence is presented on return on capital employed, total factor productivity growth, cost inefficiency, and speed of passenger services. There were discrepancies in performance across companies but ROCE and TFP typically fell during our period. Cost inefficiency rose before 1900 but then was brought under control as a profits collapse loomed. Without the discipline of either strong competition or effective regulation, managerial failure was common. This sector is an important qualification to the conventional wisdom that late-Victorian Britain did not fail.
|Item Type:||Monograph (Working Paper)|
|Additional Information:||© 2007 The Authors|
|Library of Congress subject classification:||H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
T Technology > TF Railroad engineering and operation
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
|Sets:||Departments > Economic History
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