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Public Enterprise Revisited

A Closer Look at the 1954–79 UK Labour Productivity Record

Chrisafis H. Iordanoglou

The book compares the 1954–79 labour productivity record of 5 expanding public sector industries to that of 24 expanding, capital intensive, mass-production industries in the British private sector. The author shows that the public sector industries’ labour productivity growth was significantly faster than that of the private sector industries. Strikingly, he also finds that the state-owned industries were narrowing their productivity gap with their US counterparts at a significantly faster rate than the private sector industries. Dr Iordanoglou concludes that it is possible that public ownership had – in the historical period investigated – a long-term positive effect on these industries.
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Appendix A: Selection of the sample: technical background

Chrisafis H. Iordanoglou


A.1 A.1.1 FIRST SELECTION CRITERION: MARKET EXPANSION The Ranking of Industries According to the Nominal Growth of Their Sales: Definitions, Data Sources and Tables Table A.1 presents the complete 155 industry ranking that is based on the annual average growth rates in the value of these industries’ sales. The 155 headings include all the manufacturing, mining, gas, electricity and water industries and most of the transport and communications ones. The construction industry has been excluded. The 1954 figures on the manufacturing, mining, electricity, gas and water sales have been taken from Table 1 (column total sales and work done) of the Historical Record of the Census of Production.1 In the eight cases for which data for 1954 were unavailable and 1963 had to be used as the initial year, the sales value figures have also been drawn from the same source.2 The 1979 data on manufacturing, mining, electricity, gas and water sales have been derived from Census of Production: Summary Tables, 1979.3 According to the Explanatory Notes of the Census of Production4 the total sales and work done value aggregates include: sales of principal and secondary goods produced, receipts for work done and services rendered plus sales of goods merchanted or factored.5 There are some differences of coverage between the 1954 and 1979 figures: the 1954 sales statistics exclude some items (goods merchanted and factored and non-industrial services rendered) which are included in the 1979 1. Business Statistics Office: Historical Record of the Census of Production 1907 to...

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