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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 12 No. 2 (Spring 1998)

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Forging Ahead and Falling Behind: The Rise and Relative Decline of the First Industrial Nation

Article Citation

Crafts, Nicholas. 1998. "Forging Ahead and Falling Behind: The Rise and Relative Decline of the First Industrial Nation." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12(2): 193-210.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.12.2.193

Abstract

This paper considers Britain's failure to maintain its lead in economic growth in the face of overtaking by the United States. Recent cliometric research is reviewed and it is argued that early nineteenth century Britain had a low growth potential by twentieth century standards and that the American growth of the early twentieth century was of a quite different kind. Neither traditional nor new growth theories can encompass this experience and it is suggested that natural resource endowments, location-specific learning processes, and the international migration of factors of production were central aspects of American overtaking of Britain.

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Authors

Crafts, Nicholas (London School of Econ)

JEL Classifications

N10: Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations: General, International, or Comparative
E20: Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment: General (includes Measurement and Data

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