Market Services and the Productivity Race, 1850–2000

Market Services and the Productivity Race, 1850–2000

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Now that services account for such a dominant part of economic activity, it has become apparent that achieving high levels of productivity in the economy requires high levels of productivity in services. This book, first published in 2006, offers a major reassessment of Britain's comparative productivity performance over the last 150 years. Whereas in the mid-nineteenth century Britain had higher productivity than the United States and Germany, by 1990 both countries had overtaken Britain. The key to achieving high productivity was the 'industrialisation' of market services, which involved both the serving of business and the provision of mass-market consumer services in a more business like fashion. Comparative productivity varied with the uneven spread of industrialised service sector provision across sectors. Stephen Broadberry provides a quantitative overview of these trends, together with a qualitative account of developments within individual sectors, including shipping, railways, road and air transport, telecommunications, wholesale and retail distribution, banking, and finance.For steamships, there are different isoquants representing different length voyages of 1, 000, 5, 000 or 10, 000 miles. On the 1, 000 mile voyage, for example, it is possible to use different combinations of coal and other inputs by varying the speed, ... Refuelling along the way would not have reduced costs because most of the good-quality coal needed for steaming came from south Wales. ... The actual pattern of adoption of steamships follows Harleya#39;s predicted pattern quite closely.

Title:Market Services and the Productivity Race, 1850–2000
Author: Stephen Broadberry
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 2006-10-26

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