ABSTRACT: The Great Depression is considered one of the darkest times for the US economy, but some argue that the US economy experienced strong productivity growth over the period. This dataset reassesses this performance using improvedmeasures of total factor productivity that allow for comparisons of productivity growth in the Depression era and in later decades. Contrary to Alvin Hansen’s gloomy prognosis of secular stagnation, the US economy was in a very strong position during the 1930s by today’s standards.

AUTHORS: Gerben Bakker, Nicholas Crafts and Pieter Woltjer

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Data

A growth decomposition for the U.S. private domestic economy and a 35 industry breakdown. This dataset includes detailed estimates for output, employment, hours worked, labor quality, capital stocks, labor services, capital services and two alternative estimates for total factor productivity.

file variables countries years # obs.
icn_excel hna_us_1929t47 va, emp, h, lq, k, tfp US 1929-1947 22,500

Sources and Methods

A detailed description of the sources and the steps taken to compile the data-set are provided in the PDF file below.

file description
icn_pdf hna_us_sources Overview of sources and methods underlying data-set

 

IMPORTANT: the data underlying ‘U.S. Historical National Accounts, 1929-1947‘ are freely available as long as the article is cited appropriately (see below).

Cite

MLA Bakker, Gerben, Nicholas Crafts, and Pieter Woltjer. “A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941.” Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper 10995  (2015).
APA Bakker, G., Crafts, N., & Woltjer, P. (2015). A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941. Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper, 10995.
Chicago Bakker, Gerben, Nicholas Crafts, and Pieter Woltjer. “A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941.” Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper 10995  (2015).
Harvard Bakker, G., Crafts, N. and Woltjer, P., 2015. A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941. Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper, 10995.
Vancouver Bakker G, Crafts N, Woltjer P. A vision of the growth process in a technologically progressive economy: the United States, 1899-1941. Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper. 2015;10995.

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