Twentieth Century Growth

Nicholas Crafts, Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper surveys the experience of economic growth in the 20th century with a focus on technological change at the frontier together with issues related to success and failure in catch-up growth. A detailed account of growth performance based on historical national accounts data is given and is accompanied by a review of growth accounting evidence on the sources of economic growth. The key features of our analysis of divergence in growth outcomes are an emphasis on the importance of "directed" technical change, of institutional quality, and of geography. We provide brief case studies of the experience of individual countries to illustrate these points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Economic Growth
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages84
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameHandbook of Economic Growth
ISSN (Print)1574-0684


  • Catch-up growth
  • Divergence
  • Growth accounting
  • Technical change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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