chapter  3
7 Pages

Early theoretical and empirical studies of economic growth

In addition to those listed in the table, Abramovitz (1956), in his hallmark study, examined economic activity in the post-Civil war economy, from 1869-78 to 1944-53. He cautiously concluded from his quantitative investigation that the source of growth in output per unit of labor over that time period was not increased resources per head. Rather, the source of growth in output per unit of labor rested within the realm of such a little-understood cause as the growth in the stock of knowledge. It is no wonder, then, that Abramovitz (1956) coined the descriptive phrase, “measure of ignorance,” when referring to the determinants of productivity growth. He conjectured that the inputs into this stock of knowledge included such factors as research and education – both of which are bases for the generation of new knowledge.