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Total factor productivity growth on Britain's railways, 1852-1912: a reappraisal of the evidence

By Nicholas Crafts, Terence C. Mills and Abay Mulatu


This paper revisits the issue of the productivity performance of pre-World War I Britain’s railway system with an improved dataset and with modern time-series econometrics. We find a slowdown in TFP growth between 1850 and 1870, after which it stabilized at about 1.1%. An analysis of company-level productivity rejects the claims that there was a regulation-induced revival of productivity performance in the railway sector after 1900 but, on the other hand, it supports the claim that there was some managerial failure during the period

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, TF Railroad engineering and operation, D204 Modern History, DA Great Britain
Publisher: Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2005
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Provided by: LSE Research Online

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