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The Productivity Race


  • 228 tables
  • Page extent: 480 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.7 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521023580 | ISBN-10: 0521023580)

DOI: 10.2277/0521023580

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)


This book is a reassessment of British performance in manufacturing since 1850 in the light of new evidence on international comparisons of productivity. Using a novel analytical framework of technological evolution, Stephen Broadberry uncovers new ways of looking at Britain's relative economic decline while debunking a number of misapprehensions regarding the nature and causes of the decline. It analyses productivity levels in Britain, the United States and Germany and provides detailed case studies of all the major manufacturing industries, broken down into three periods: 1850–1914, 1914–50 and 1950–90. Broadberry offers a wide coverage of industries, with invaluable country-specific information. By combining a multitude of detailed productivity measurements with qualitative industrial and business history, he provides a major contribution to our understanding of British economic performance over the last 150 years.

• A major reassessment of Britain's manufacturing performance over the past 150 years • Provides internationally comparative data • Offers a comprehensive set of industry case studies


Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction and overview; Part I. Measuring Comparative Productivity Performance: 2. International comparisons of productivity in manufacturing: benchmark estimates by industry; 3. Labour productivity in aggregate manufacturing: Britain, the United States and Germany; 4. Extending the picture: manufacturing productivity in other industrialised countries; 5. Manufacturing and the whole economy; Part II. Explaining Comparative Productivity Performance: 6. Technology; 7. Economic geography: markets and natural resources; 8. Accumulation of physical and human capital; 9. Competition and adjustment; Part III. Reassessing the Performance of British Industry: 10. The rise of competition from abroad, 1850–1914; 11. War and depression, 1914–50; 12. Changing markets and technology, 1950–90; 13. Concluding comments; Bibliography; Index.


'This book … should be a major souce of reference for researchers.' S. Srinivasan, University of Southampton

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