NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

New Goods and the Transition to a New Economy

Jeremy Greenwood, Gokce Uysal

NBER Working Paper No. 10793
Issued in September 2004
NBER Program(s):   EFG   DAE

The U.S. went through a remarkable structural transformation between 1800 and 2000. In 1800 the majority of people worked in agriculture. Barely anyone did by 2000. What caused the rapid demise of agriculture in the economy? The analysis here concentrates on the development of new consumer goods associated with technological progress. The introduction of new goods into the framework lessens the need to rely on satiation points, subsistence levels of consumption, and the like. The analysis suggests that between 1800 and 2000 economic welfare grew by at least 1.5 percent a year, and maybe as much as 10 percent annually, the exact number depending upon the metric preferred.

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Published: Greenwood, Jeremy and Gokce Uysal. "New Goods And The Transition To A New Economy," Journal of Economic Growth, 2005, v10(2,Jun), 99-134.

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