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By R.C.O. Matthews, C. H. Feinstein, J. Odling-Smee

ISBN-10: 0198284535

ISBN-13: 9780198284536

A ancient account of the path and reasons of British monetary development from the mid-nineteenth century till 1973, with detailed emphasis at the extraordinary development after the second one global battle.

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Additional info for British economic growth 1856-1973

Sample text

It is best described as U-shaped. The rate of growth declined to a low point some time before or around World War I, then increased up to 1973. The first part of the period, from 1856 to 1913, consist of two phases. The earlier phase culminated in what seemed at the time to be the high-water mark of Britain's industrial prosperity in the boom of 1872–73. The subsequent 40 years have been commonly regarded as a period of retardation — retardation relative to the growth rate that had been achieved earlier and retardation also relative to what was currently being achieved by the other countries whose competition was increasingly being felt.

On the one hand, there took place in 1919–21 the greatest setback to real GDP that the country had experienced since the industrial revolution. On the other hand, those years marked also the beginning of a phase of increase 6 THE METHOD, THE PROBLEMS, AND THE PROFILE in the rate of growth of productivity that persisted for the next half century. 3 We have taken 1924 and 1937 as the first and last years of what we normally refer to as the interwar period. This gives us two years that are broadly comparable in terms of the level of activity, and excludes the statistically uncertain and economically abnormal events of 1919–20.

More interesting is the finding that in certain periods changes in the rate of growth of TFP in some untypical sectors had important effects on the rate of growth of TFP in the economy as a whole (commerce in the interwar period and across World War II, agriculture in the last quarter of the nineteenth century). However, the main conclusion that emerges from the sectoral data is that changes between periods in the rate of growth of TFP were usually similar throughout the economy. The causes making for these changes were evidently pervasive.

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British economic growth 1856-1973 by R.C.O. Matthews, C. H. Feinstein, J. Odling-Smee


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