Sooner than you think: the pre-1914 UK productivity slowdown was Victorian not Edwardian

Crafts, Nicholas and Mills, Terence C (2019) Sooner than you think: the pre-1914 UK productivity slowdown was Victorian not Edwardian. European Review of Economic History. ISSN 1361-4916 (Accepted)

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Abstract

This paper re-examines UK productivity growth in the decades before World War I using a new dataset compiled by Thomas and Dimsdale (2017). We find that the productivity slowdown of the early 20th century was quite modest and does not deserve to be called a climacteric. A more serious slowdown in labour productivity growth occurred in the 1870s. Neither of these episodes should be regarded as a precedent for the current severe deterioration in UK productivity performance. Nor should a late-Victorian productivity slowdown be attributed to the end of the steam age despite the popularity of this belief.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Depositing User: Nicholas Crafts
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 08:11
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2020 09:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89183

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