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Were British railway companies well-managed in the early twentieth century?

Nicholas Crafts (), Tim Leunig () and Abay Mulatu ()

Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History

Abstract: This is a revised version of a previous working paper, of the same name, which incorporates corrections to errors in our estimates of TFP growth. 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.

JEL-codes: N0 L91 L96 B1 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2010-03
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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27889/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Were British railway companies well managed in the early twentieth century?1 (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Were British railway companies well-managed in the early twentieth century? (2007) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27889

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