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    Veenstra, Joost and de Jong, Herman 2016. A Tale of Two Tails: Establishment Size and Labour Productivity in United States and German Manufacturing at the Start of the Twentieth Century. Australian Economic History Review, Vol. 56, Issue. 2, p. 198.

    Veenstra, Joost 2015. Output growth in German manufacturing, 1907–1936. A reinterpretation of time-series evidence. Explorations in Economic History, Vol. 57, p. 38.

    Ristuccia, Cristiano Andrea and Tooze, Adam 2013. Machine tools and mass production in the armaments boom: Germany and the United States, 1929-44. The Economic History Review, p. n/a.

    Broadberry, Stephen and Eng, Pierre van der 2010. Historical perspectives on Asian economic growth and development. Explorations in Economic History, Vol. 47, Issue. 3, p. 260.

    Broadberry, Stephen and Burhop, Carsten 2010. Real Wages and Labor Productivity in Britain and Germany, 1871–1938: A Unified Approach to the International Comparison of Living Standards. The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 70, Issue. 02, p. 400.


Resolving the Anglo-German Industrial Productivity Puzzle, 1895–1935: A Response to Professor Ritschl

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2008

This response offers a critical appraisal of the claim of Albrecht Ritschl to have found a possible resolution to what he calls the Anglo-German industrial productivity puzzle, which arose as the result of a new industrial production index produced in an earlier paper by the same author. Projection back from a widely accepted 1935/36 benchmark using the Ritschl index showed German industrial labor productivity in 1907 substantially higher than in Britain. This presented a puzzle for at least two reasons. First, other comparative information from the pre—World War I period, such as wages, seems difficult to square with much higher German labor productivity at this time. Second, a direct benchmark estimate produced by Stephen Broadberry and Carsten Burhop, using production census information for Britain and industrial survey material of similar quality for Germany, suggested broadly equal labor productivity in 1907. Broadberry and Burhop also showed that if Walther Hoffmann's industrial output index was used instead of the Ritschl index for Germany, the puzzle largely disappeared.

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Albrecht Ritschl . “Spurious Growth in German Output Data, 1913–1938.” European Review of Economic History 8 (2004): 201–23.

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The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
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