The Anglo-German industrial productivity puzzle, 1895-1935: A restatement and a possible resolution

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Abstract

International productivity comparisons are often plagued by discrepancies between benchmark estimates and time series extrapolations. Broadberry and Burhop present both types of evidence for the Anglo-German comparison. For their preferred data, they find only a minimal German productivity lead prior to World War I, while use of a revised industrial output series for Germany by Ritschl leads to implausible results. This article presents further time series revisions and substantial corrections to the Broadberry and Burhop benchmark estimate. Results strongly suggest a considerable German productivity lead over Britain prior to World War I, which eroded during and after the war.

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Authors

  • Albrecht Ritschl

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