Electricity Diffusion and Trend Acceleration in Inter-War Manufacturing Productivity

U of Cambridge, Economics Working Paper No. 0202

27 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2002

See all articles by Cristiano Andrea Ristuccia

Cristiano Andrea Ristuccia

University of Cambridge - Department of Applied Economics

Solomos Solomou

University of Cambridge, Faculty of Economics

Date Written: February 2002

Abstract

This paper evaluates the link between the diffusion of electricity and the increase in labour productivity growth in the manufacturing sector during the inter-war period. A comparative analysis of the USA, Britain, Germany, and Japan shows that the trend acceleration in labour productivity is common to all these countries except Germany and is correlated with electricity diffusion. Germany's labour productivity growth was nevertheless sustained in 1925 - 1938. The USA saw an earlier acceleration because the diffusion of electricity-based general-purpose technologies in production was much faster than in the other countries examined.

Keywords: Economic Growth, Economic History, Productivity, Long Swings

JEL Classification: N11, N12, N13, N14, N60, O40

Suggested Citation

Ristuccia, Cristiano Andrea and Solomou, Solomos, Electricity Diffusion and Trend Acceleration in Inter-War Manufacturing Productivity (February 2002). U of Cambridge, Economics Working Paper No. 0202, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=303799 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.303799

Cristiano Andrea Ristuccia (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

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Solomos Solomou

University of Cambridge, Faculty of Economics ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
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Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom
+44 1223 335226 (Phone)
+44 1223 335475 (Fax)

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