The Origins of U.S. Total Factor Productivity Growth in the Golden AgeEconomics
AbstractA consideration of TFP growth in the United States during the golden age (1948–1973) raises two related questions: on the one hand why was it so strong and on the other hand, why were TFP growth rates lower than they were during the Depression years (1929–1941)? A continuing downward trend in TFP growth within manufacturing, and its declining share after World War II, provide answers to the latter question. A persisting productivity windfall associated with the build out of the surface road infrastructure helps answer the former question. By adopting a longer historical perspective, we can move beyond understanding the golden age sui generis, and begin to see it instead as a period reflecting the persistence of trends and developments whose origins are to be found prior to the Second World War.
Citation InformationField, Alexander J. 2007. “The Origins of U.S. Total Factor Productivity Growth in the Golden Age.” Cliometrica 1 (April): 63-90.