Growth, Productivity and Inflation

  • Peter Curwen
Part of the Macmillan Texts in Economics book series (TE)


For a country to grow richer in a strictly material sense, it must first of all grow. In other words, it is the increase in the volume of goods and services (real GDP) which economic growth represents that underpins the improvement in a country’s material standard of living over time. Since living standards are more meaningful when expressed in terms of individuals, real GDP per head is often preferred. It should, however, be noted that there are quite a number of qualifications to be made when linking growth to living standards — for example, if the extra goods and services are all exported, domestic consumption will not be affected, and the fruits of growth may not be distributed at all equally such that some individuals may become worse off even when the economy is growing rapidly. Furthermore, whilst certain activities conferring ‘economic well-being’ such as gardening are excluded from official figures, other activities which reduce well-being such as damaging the environment are included (see, for example, comments on the ‘genuine progress indicator’ in The Economist, 30 September 1995, p. 63).


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barro, R. (1995) ‘Inflation and Economic Growth’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin (May).Google Scholar
  2. Blackaby, D. and L. Hunt (1990) ‘An Assessment of the UK’s Productivity Record in the 1980s: Has There Been a “Miracle”?’, Economics (Autumn).Google Scholar
  3. Brittan, S. (1994) ‘Competitiveness Rides Again’, Financial Times (21 April).Google Scholar
  4. Brittan, S. (1995) ‘Time to Bury Those League Tables’, Financial Times (25 May).Google Scholar
  5. Competitiveness: Helping Business to Win. Cm 2563. May 1994 (London: HMSO).Google Scholar
  6. Competitiveness: Forging Ahead. Cm 2867. May 1995 (London: HMSO).Google Scholar
  7. Connock, M., A. Gully and H. Hillier (1995) ‘Macroeconomic Convergence in Europe: A Review of the Maastricht Conditions’, The Review of Policy Issues, 1 (4).Google Scholar
  8. Crafts, N. (1993) Can De-Industrialisation Seriously Damage Your Wealth? (London: Institute of Economic Affairs).Google Scholar
  9. Craven, B. and R. Gausden (1991) ‘How Best to Measure Inflation? The UK and Europe’, The Royal Bank of Scotland Review (June).Google Scholar
  10. Eltis, W., D. Fraser and M. Ricketts (1992) ‘The Lessons from the Superior Economic Performance of Germany and Japan’, National Westminster Bank Quarterly Review (February).Google Scholar
  11. Eltis, W. and D. Higham (1995) ‘Closing the UK Competitiveness Gap’, National Institute Economic Review, 154 (November).Google Scholar
  12. Feinstein, C. and R. Mathews (1990) ‘The Growth of Output and Productivity in the UK: the 1980s as a Phase of the Post-war Period’, National Institute Economic Review (August).Google Scholar
  13. Gilbert, C. (1990) ‘Primary Commodity Prices and Inflation’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy (Winter).Google Scholar
  14. Haldane, A. (1995) ‘Inflation Targets’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin (August).Google Scholar
  15. Hall, S., M. Walsh and T. Yates (1996) ‘How Do UK Companies Set Prices?’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin (May) pp. 180–92.Google Scholar
  16. Kaletsky, A. (1996) ‘How Labour Would Try to Change the Ways of Business’, The Times (18 April).Google Scholar
  17. Layard, R. and S. Nickell (1989) The Thatcher Miracle?’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings (May).Google Scholar
  18. MacFarlane, H. and P. Mortimer-Lee (1994) ‘Inflation Over 300 Years’, Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin (May).Google Scholar
  19. Muellbauer, J. (1991) ‘Productivity and Competitiveness’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 7 (3).Google Scholar
  20. Nickell, S. (1990) ‘Inflation and the UK Labour Market’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy (Winter).Google Scholar
  21. O’Mahoney, M. (1995) ‘International Differences in Manufacturing Unit Labour Costs’, National Institute Economic Review, 154 (November).Google Scholar
  22. Oulton, N. (1990) ‘Labour Productivity in UK Manufacturing in the 1970s and in the 1980s’, National Institute Economic Review, 151 (May).Google Scholar
  23. Oulton, N. (1995) ‘Supply Side Reform and UK Economic Growth: What Happened to the Miracle?’, National Institute Economic Review, 154 (November).Google Scholar
  24. Oulton, N. and M. O’Mahoney (1994) Productivity and Growth: A Study of British Industry, 1954–86 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  25. Roberts, P. (1989) ‘Supply-side Economics’, Chapter 3 in J. M. Buchanan et al. (eds), Rea-ganomics and After (London: Institute of Economic Affairs).Google Scholar
  26. Steindel, C. (1995) ‘Chain-Weighting: The New Approach to Measuring GDP’, Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 1 (3) (Federal Reserve Bank of New York).Google Scholar
  27. The Economist (1992) ‘Zero Inflation’, (7 November).Google Scholar
  28. The Economist (1993) ‘Economic Straightjackets’ (30 October).Google Scholar
  29. The Economist (1994a) ‘A Cruise Around the Phillips Curve’ (19 February).Google Scholar
  30. The Economist (1994b) ‘The Price of Light’ (22 October).Google Scholar
  31. The Economist (1995a) ‘The Cost of Inflation’ (13 May).Google Scholar
  32. The Economist (1995b) ‘What Happened to Inflation?’ (16 September).Google Scholar
  33. The Economist (1995c) ‘How Does Your Economy Grow?’ (30 September).Google Scholar
  34. van Ark, B. (1992) ‘Comparative Productivity in British and American Manufacturing’, National Institute Economic Review (November).Google Scholar
  35. Wells, J. (1994) ‘Not Very Productive’, New Economy, 1 (3).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Curwen 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Curwen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations