Onwards and upwards: American productivity growth during the Great Depression

Gerben Bakker, N.F.R. Crafts, P.J. Woltjer

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/sitePopular


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 measures 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.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCentre for Economic Policy Research
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2016


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