The Most Technologically Progressive Decade of the Century

37 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2008 Last revised: 27 Oct 2009

Alexander J. Field

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department

Abstract

There is now an emerging consensus that over the course of U.S. economic history, multifactor productivity grew fastest over a broad plateau between 1905 and 1966, and within that period, in the two decades following 1929. This paper argues that the bulk of the achieved productivity levels in 1948 had already been attained before full scale war mobilization in 1942. It was not principally the war that laid the foundation for postwar prosperity. It was technological progress across a broad frontier of the American economy during the 1930s.

Keywords: Technological Progress, Great Depression, Productivity, TFP

JEL Classification: N12, O30, O47

Suggested Citation

Field, Alexander J., The Most Technologically Progressive Decade of the Century. American Economic Review, Vol. 93, pp. 1399-1414, September 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1105628

Alexander J. Field (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA California 95053
United States
408 554 4348 (Phone)
408 554 2331 (Fax)

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