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Standards, Learning and Growth in Britain 1901-2009

Cristopher Spencer and Paul Temple
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Cristopher Spencer: Loughborough University

No 613, School of Economics Discussion Papers from School of Economics, University of Surrey

Abstract: This paper considers the model of voluntary, consensus based standardization as developed through the British Standards Institution (BSI) and its contribution to learning and productivity growth. It discusses the contribution of professional engineers to the model's introduction, its extension at home and imitation overseas, arguing that by 1931 the BSI catalogue of standards represented a considerable stock of codified knowledge whose growth reflected underlying aggregate technological advance. To validate this claim we incorporate a measure of the BSI catalogue of standards into an econometric model of productivity growth in Britain. However, caution is required in the interpretation of this finding.

JEL-codes: O11 O33 O47 L52 C22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-knm
Date: 2013-09
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