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Atlanta Fed Working Papers


U.K. World War I and Interwar Data for Business Cycle and Growth Analysis

James M. Nason and Shaun P. Vahey
Working Paper 2009-18
August 2009

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This article contributes new time series for studying the U.K. economy during World War I and the interwar period. The time series are per capita hours worked and average tax rates of capital income, labor income, and consumption. Uninterrupted time series of these variables are provided for an annual sample that runs from 1913 to 1938. We highlight the usefulness of these time series with several empirical applications. We use per capita hours worked in a growth accounting exercise to measure the contributions of capital, labor, and productivity to output growth. The average tax rates are employed in a Bayesian model averaging experiment to reevaluate the Benjamin and Kochin (1979) regression.

JEL classification: E32, E62, N14, N34, N44

Key words: hours worked, average tax rates, growth accounting, Bayesian model averaging


The authors thank Kateryna Rakowsky for excellent research assistance. They especially thank Marietta Carlisi and Annie Tilden of the Research Library of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for responding to our many requests. The views expressed here are the authors' and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors’ responsibility.

Please address questions regarding content to James M. Nason, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Research Department, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309, 404-498-8891, jim.nason@atl.frb.org, or Shaun P. Vahey, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne, 200 Leicester St. Carlton, Victoria, Australia 3053, 61 3 9349 8100, s.vahey@mbs.edu.

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