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Resolving the Anglo-German industrial productivity puzzle, 1895–1935: a response to Professor Ritschl

Broadberry, Stephen and Burhop, Carsten (2008) Resolving the Anglo-German industrial productivity puzzle, 1895–1935: a response to Professor Ritschl. Journal of Economic History, 68 (3). pp. 930-934. ISSN 1471-6372

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Abstract

This response offers a critical appraisal of the claim of Albrecht Ritschl to have found a possible resolution to what he calls the Anglo-German industrial productivity puzzle, which arose as the result of a new industrial production index produced in an earlier paper by the same author. Projection back from a widely accepted 1935/36 benchmark using the Ritschl index showed German industrial labor productivity in 1907 substantially higher than in Britain. This presented a puzzle for at least two reasons. First, other comparative information from the pre—World War I period, such as wages, seems difficult to square with much higher German labor productivity at this time. Second, a direct benchmark estimate produced by Stephen Broadberry and Carsten Burhop, using production census information for Britain and industrial survey material of similar quality for Germany, suggested broadly equal labor productivity in 1907. Broadberry and Burhop also showed that if Walther Hoffmann's industrial output index was used instead of the Ritschl index for Germany, the puzzle largely disappeared.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: © 2008 Cambridge University Press
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DD Germany
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2011 12:15
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/32339/

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