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Endogenous Growth, Trend Output, and the Industrial Revolution: Reply to Crafts and Mills

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2009

David Greasley
Reader in Economic History, Department of Economic History, 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9JY, Scotland.
Les Oxley
Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Waikato, New Zealand.


The origins of this exchange stem from an important paper by N. F. R. Crafts, Steven Leybourne, and Terence Mills, which argues that underlying trends in British industrial output for the period 1700 to 1913 are stochastic rather than linearly deterministic. Using parsimonious methods, we propose an alternative view that the output series have alternating stochastic properties. Specifically we distinguish the period 1780 to 1851 as an Industrial Revolution epoch during which shocks had long-term effects. Out model simplifies to help understand the complexities of the Industrial Revolution, and we agree with Clive Granger and Zhuanxin Ding, that “While it is correct to search over a specific set of parsimonious models … the model so achieved is, at best, an approximation to the truth”.

Copyright © The Economic History Association 1997

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