Publication

Did technology shocks drive the great depression? Explaining cyclical productivity movements in US manufacturing, 1919-1939

Inklaar, R., de Jong, H. & Gouma, R., Dec-2011, In : Journal of Economic History. 71, 4, p. 827-858 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Technology shocks and declining productivity have been advanced as important factors driving the Great Depression in the United States, based on real business cycle theory. We estimate an improved measure of technology for interwar manufacturing, using data from the U.S. census reports. There is clear evidence of increasing returns to scale and we find no statistical proof that technology shocks led to changes in hours worked or other inputs. This contradicts a key prediction of real business cycle theory. We find that increasing returns to scale are not due to market power but to labor and capital hoarding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-858
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Economic History
Volume71
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2011

    Keywords

  • PROCYCLICAL LABOR PRODUCTIVITY, AGGREGATE PRODUCTION FUNCTION, UNITED-STATES, BUSINESS-CYCLE, INDUSTRIES, EMPLOYMENT, EARNINGS, RETURNS, INPUT, SCALE

View graph of relations

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 2278675