The Effects of Structural Change

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

 The Effects of Structural Change

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The effects of structural change or its absence on the overall growth of TFP have been much smaller than the effects of intraindustry TFP growth, except in 1937–51 when resources shifted toward relatively high productivity sectors. The effects of classical diminishing returns or its reversal were apparent on several occasions in mining, but less regularly in agriculture. The rate of growth of TFP in commerce was lowered in 1924–37 and raised in 1937–51 by the inflow and outflow of labour, the result of general demand conditions. Dynamic increasing returns (Verdoorn effect) in manufacturing may possibly have operated in some periods, but they do not explain much. Most of the declines in manufacturing's share in GDP were the result of changes in domestic absorption, not of foreign competition.

Keywords: agriculture; commerce growth by sector; manufacturing; mining; structural change

Chapter.  17353 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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