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Pieter (Jop) WOLTJER

Postdoc Economic History – University of Groningen

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Twentieth Century

Working Paper: The Sources of Growth in a Technologically Progressive Economy

The United States, 1899-1941

ABSTRACT: We develop new aggregate and sectoral Total Factor Productivity (TFP) estimates for the United States between 1899 and 1941 through better coverage of sectors and better-measured labor quality, and find TFP-growth was lower than previously thought, Continue reading “Working Paper: The Sources of Growth in a Technologically Progressive Economy”

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Working Paper: Before she said “I do”

The Influence of Economic Structure and Demand for Labour on Dutch Unmarried Women’s Labour Force Participation during the Long Nineteenth Century

ABSTRACT: Extensive research has demonstrated that female labour force participation (FLFP) in Western Europe decreased during the second half of the nineteenth century. During this period, in the Netherlands, FLFP was even lower than in surrounding countries  Continue reading “Working Paper: Before she said “I do””

Article: The Yankees of Europe?

A New View on Technology and Productivity in German Manufacturing in the Early Twentieth Century

ABSTRACT: Labor productivity in German manufacturing lagged persistently behind the United States in the early twentieth century. Traditionally, this is attributed to dichotomous technology paths across the Atlantic. Continue reading “Article: The Yankees of Europe?”

Column: Onwards and Upwards

American Productivity Growth during the Great Depression

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 column reassesses this performance using improved Continue reading “Column: Onwards and Upwards”

Column: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble

The partitioning of Africa by European imperial powers in the late 19th century irreversibly transformed the long-term development trajectories of African economies. Yet, the motives for, and timing of, the scramble remain poorly understood. This column argues that the changes in African Continue reading “Column: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble”

Working Paper: A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy

ABSTRACT: We develop new aggregate and sectoral Total Factor Productivity (TFP) estimates for the United States between 1899 and 1941 through better coverage of sectors and better measured labor quality, and show TFP-growth was lower than previously thought, broadly based across sectors Continue reading “Working Paper: A Vision of the Growth Process in a Technologically Progressive Economy”

Working Paper: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble

The Commercial Transition and the Commodity Price Boom of 1845-1885

ABSTRACT: This is the first study to present a unified quantitative account of African commodity trade in the long 19th century from the zenith of the Atlantic slave trade (1790s) to the eve of World War II (1939). Drawing evidence from a new dataset Continue reading “Working Paper: An Economic Rationale for the African Scramble”

Article: Taking Over

A New Appraisal of the Anglo-American Productivity Gap and the Nature of American Economic Leadership ca. 1910

ABSTRACT: This article re-examines how and when the USA closed the gap and ultimately overtook the UK in terms of both labour productivity and real income. On the basis of a set of sectoral productivity benchmarks for the year 1910 Continue reading “Article: Taking Over”

Working Paper: Taking Over

A New US/UK Productivity Benchmark and the Nature of American Economic
Leadership ca. 1910

ABSTRACT: This paper offers a direct industry-of-origin benchmark for the United States and the United Kingdom around 1910. The industry-of-origin approach allows for a disaggregation of international productivity differentials Continue reading “Working Paper: Taking Over”

Dissertation: The Roaring Thirties

Productivity Growth and Technological Change in Great Britain and the United States during the Early Twentieth Century

ABSTRACT: A recent study in American economic history has shown that the 1930s, though scarred by relentless unemployment, mass migration and profound social and cultural change, were far from gloomy in terms of technological and business innovation. In light of these dynamic productivity developments Continue reading “Dissertation: The Roaring Thirties”

Column: The Roaring Thirties [dutch]

De Lessen van de jaren dertig

De crisis die de wereldeconomie in 2008 trof stond op gelijke voet met datgene wat de Grote Depressie van de jaren dertig inleidde. In de 12 maanden na de economische piek van 2008 daalde de industriële productie net zoveel als gedurende het eerste jaar van de Grote Depressie. De aandelenkoersen en de wereldhandel daalden zelfs meer. Toch lijkt het erop dat een echte depressie deze keer is vermeden. Continue reading “Column: The Roaring Thirties [dutch]”

Working Paper: The Great Escape

Technological Lock-in vs Appropriate Technology in Early Twentieth Century
British Manufacturing

ABSTRACT: America’s lead over Europe in manufacturing productivity from the late nineteenth century onwards has often been contributed to differences in initial conditions, trapping Europe in a relatively declining, labor-intensive and low-productive technological path. In this paper, I reassess the productivity dynamics in British manufacturing Continue reading “Working Paper: The Great Escape”

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