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The sources of growth in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941

Bakker, Gerben, Crafts, Nicholas and Woltjer, Pieter (2017) The sources of growth in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941. Economic History working papers (269/2017). The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

We develop new aggregate and sectoral Total Factor Productivity (TFP) estimates for the United States between 1899 and 1941 through better coverage of sectors and better-measured labor quality, and find TFPgrowth was lower than previously thought, broadly based across sectors, and strongly variant intertemporally. We then test and reject three prominent claims. First, the 1930s did not have the highest TFP-growth of the twentieth century. Second, TFP-growth was not predominantly caused by four ‘great inventions’. Third, TFPgrowth was not driven indirectly by spillovers from great inventions such as electricity. Instead, the creativedestruction-friendly American innovation system was the main productivity driver

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Accounting
Economic History
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N11 - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N12 - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O47 - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output (Income) Convergence
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O51 - U.S.; Canada
Sets: Departments > Accounting
Departments > Economic History
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 10:10
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 23:07
Projects: 360–53–102
Funders: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/85081

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