DP9633 Twentieth Century Growth

Author(s): Nicholas Crafts, Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke
Publication Date: September 2013
Keyword(s): catch-up growth, divergence, growth accounting, technical change
JEL(s): N10, O33, O43, O47
Programme Areas: Economic History
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9633

This paper surveys the experience of economic growth in the 20th century with a focus on technological change at the frontier together with issues related to success and failure in catch-up growth. A detailed account of growth performance based on historical national accounts data is given and is accompanied by a review of growth accounting evidence on the sources of economic growth. The key features of our analysis of divergence in growth outcomes are an emphasis on the importance of ‘directed’ technical change, of institutional quality, and of geography. We provide brief case studies of the experience of individual countries to illustrate these points.