This book owes its origin to the initiative of the Social Science Research Council, which, through the agency of Moses Abramovitz and Simon Kuznets, launched in the early 1960's a series of parallel historical studies of growth in seven industrial countries. Like our colleagues in the other countries, we have found that the task has taken us very much longer than we expected, and the work has been set aside from time to time as each of the three of us became drawn into other duties. The delay has had some offsetting advantages. It has enabled us to include within our compass the whole of the period of rapid postwar growth, setting a clear terminus to our story in 1973. It has also enabled us to take advantage of major revisions to the statistics relating to investment and the capital stock before 1914 undertaken by Charles Feinstein since the publication of his National Income, Expenditure and Output of the United Kingdom, 1855-1964. The core of our statistical data comes from that book, and it may be regarded as a statistical companion volume to the present one.
We have incorporated — with many changes — some material from earlier articles by one or other of us, listed in the references. What is said in this book should be taken to replace our earlier treatments in any places where they are discrepant.
All three authors have participated fully in the successive stages of the work, but two of us would like to put on record that it was the third, Robin Matthews, who made by far the most significant contributions to the design of the investigation, the analysis of the material, and the writing of the final text.
In the course of our work, we have incurred obligations to more people than we can here mention. Our particular thanks are due to Moses Abramovitz and Simon Kuznets for their encouragement, patience, and kind but discriminating comments on the draft; to those
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Publication information: Book title: British Economic Growth, 1856-1973. Contributors: R. C. O. Matthews - Author, C. H. Feinstein - Author, J. Odling-Smee - Author. Publisher: Clarendon. Place of publication: Oxford, England. Publication year: 1982. Page number: v.
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