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Comparative productivity in British and German manufacturing before World War II: reconciling direct benchmark estimates and time series projections

By Stephen Broadberry and Carsten Burhop


This article provides a new benchmark estimate of comparative Germany/U.K. labor productivity in manufacturing for circa 1907, and experiments with alternative German manufacturing production indices for time series projection from a circa 1935 benchmark. A consistent picture of broadly similar levels of manufacturing labor productivity in Britain and Germany throughout the period 1871–1938 is established. We also show that a substantial German productivity lead had already emerged in heavy industry by 1907, but was offset by a substantial British productivity lead in light industry. For the pre-1914 period, an additional check is provided using nominal income-based estimates

Topics: HC, DA, DD
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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