chapter  6
30 Pages

Productivity Trends in the Natural Resource Industries: A Cross-Cutting Analysis

The post-World War II economic boom came to an abrupt end in the 1970s. The level of productivity for the U.S. economy as a whole actually fell.1 At the same time, the prices of agricultural land and most natural resources increased markedly. This led to studies claiming that the world was running out of resources and that the limits to economic growth were being reached.2 However, the most prominent studies contained some methodological problems and their predictions turned out to be well wide of the mark.3 Indeed, since the 1980s economic growth and productivity growth for the whole economy have recovered, although not quite to the rates experienced between 1945 and 1970.