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The Productivity Race
British Manufacturing in International Perspective, 1850–1990


  • Date Published: November 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521023580

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About the Authors
  • 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521023580
    • length: 480 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 228 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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

  • Author

    Steve N. Broadberry, University of Warwick

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