R. C. O. Matthews, C. H. Feinstein and J. C. Odling‐Smee

in British Economic Growth 1856-1973

Published in print October 1982 | ISBN: 9780198284536
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596629 | DOI:

Series: Studies of Economic Growth in Industrialized Countries


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The rate of growth of the domestic capital stock was markedly higher in the post‐war period than earlier. Differences between periods were due much more to differences in the investment‐income ratio than to differences in the capital‐output ratio. Measures of capital input are not adjusted for utilization; indirect estimates indicate a substantial trend increase in the utilization of equipment in manufacturing from 1924–64 (but not thereafter). Net overseas assets grew steeply until 1914, and then declined, mainly across the two wars, so that the UK's total real assets, domestic and overseas, hardly increased at all over a period of nearly 40 years from the beginning of World War I. The increase of two percentage points in the savings ratio between 1874–1913 and 1952–73 was more than accounted for by an increase in government savings.

Keywords: capital stock; capital utilization rate; investment‐income ratio; net overseas assets; savings ratio

Chapter.  16791 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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