His recent research at Surrey has included work relating to physical investment and the economics of technological change and innovation, especially in relation to standards. He also has interests in business and technological history. His publications include editorship of Britain's Economic Performance; Investment, Growth, and Employment; Critical Perspectives: Mergers and Acquisitions. He has also published articles in various journals including the Economic Journal, Oxford Economic Papers, The Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, the International Journal of Industrial Organization, Cambridge Journal of Economics and the Economic History Review.
Professor Ciaran Driver, School of African and Oriental Studies (investment and Britain's economic performance)
Dr Christopher Spencer, Loughborough University and Shimomura Fellow, Research Institute of Capital Formation, Development Bank of Japan (standardization and productivity growth)
Dr Ray Lambert, Associate Research Fellow, Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London
Deputy Chair, School Teaching and Learning Comittee
This article considers the model of voluntary, consensus based standardization as developed through the British Standards Institution (BSI) and its contribution to learning and productivity growth. It discusses the significant role played by professional engineers in the model’s introduction, its extension at home, and its imitation overseas. It is argued that by 1931 the BSI catalogue of standards represented a considerable stock of codified knowledge whose growth reflected underlying aggregate technological opportunities, assisting in their transformation into technological advance. To help validate this claim, a measure of the size of the BSI catalogue of standards is incorporated into an econometric model of aggregate productivity growth in Britain. Findings show that the growth of the standards catalogue is associated with a substantial proportion of labour productivity growth over the period 1931–2009. Estimates relating to the short-run dynamics involved are consistent with the idea that there are causal linkages running from standards to growth. When interpreting these findings, it is argued that the overall weight of historical evidence points to standardization—coordinated through the BSI—as providing an important path of learning for the British economy over the period considered.
In this paper theoretical and empirical models of intra-industry trade are developed in which economic activities, based on measurement and an associated measurement infrastructure, play a role in creating product variety. The paper discusses how the measurement infrastructure which includes institutions conducting metrological research and standard setting organization reduces transactions costs, especially in markets where differences in product characteristics are important. The theoretical analysis focuses on the public good characteristics of the measurement infrastructure, considering how the infrastructure impacts upon trade in a model based upon product differentiation under monopolistic competition. In the econometric analysis, indicators of the strength of the infrastructure within the EU, both across industries and across countries, suggest that measurement activities are important in determining the extent of bi-lateral EU intra-industry trade. Despite many common elements in the measurement infrastructure across the EU, there is also some evidence of differential access to the infrastructure among EU members.
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Expiry Date: Monday 18 April 2011 09:46:07
Assembly date: Mon Feb 13 09:40:30 GMT 2017
Content ID: 21816