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PhD ceremony Mr. P.J. Woltjer: The roaring thirties. Productivity growth and technological change in Great Britain and the United States during the early Twentieth Century

When:Th 10-10-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Mr. P.J. Woltjer, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: The roaring thirties. Productivity growth and technological change in Great Britain and the United States during the early Twentieth Century

Promotor(s): prof. H.J. de Jong, prof. M.P. Timmer

Faculty: Economics

A recent study in American economic history has shown that the 1930s, though scarred by relentless unemployment, mass migration and profound social and cultural change, were far from gloomy in terms of technological and business innovation. In light of these dynamic productivity developments and rapid rates of total factor productivity growth, this study reassesses the British technological and organizational innovations during the interwar era and provides a novel explanation for the rapid divergence of the Anglo-American labor-productivity levels over the course of the early twentieth century. Overall, the advances in products and materials, improvements in plant layout, management and human capital, and the emergence of new production techniques placed both the American and the British economy in a position to embark on a new pattern of growth and development.

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