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A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy:the United States, 1899-1941

Gerben Bakker, Nicholas Crafts and Pieter Woltjer

The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) from University of Warwick, Department of Economics

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 show TFP-growth was lower than previously thought, broadly based across sectors, strongly variant intertemporally, and consistent with many diverse sources of innovation. 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 leading sectors. Third, TFP-growth was not caused by a ‘yeast process’ originating in a dominant technology such as electricity.

Keywords: Harberger diagram; mushrooms; productivity growth; total factor productivity; yeast (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N11 N12 O47 O51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-gro, nep-his and nep-ino
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8)

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Related works:
Working Paper: A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy: the United States, 1899-1941 (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy:the United States, 1899-1941 (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy: the United States, 1899-1941 (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941 (2015) Downloads
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