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Groningen Growth and Development Centre

Faculty of Economics and Business
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Lagging productivity in German manufacturing in the early 20th century

Date:20 September 2016
JEH, September 2016
JEH, September 2016

Marcel Timmer, Joost Veenstra and Pieter Woltjer have published in the Journal of Economic History. Their paper, titled "The Yankees of Europe? A New View on Technology and Productivity in German Manufacturing in the Early Twentieth Century" studies why labor productivity in German manufacturing lags behind that in the United States despite anecdotal evidence of rapid adoption of new technologies. The author find that by 1936, the inefficient assimilation of modern production techniques —and not the use of different techniques— accounted for most of the U.S./German labor-productivity gap.

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