Capacity utilization, scale efficiency or technical change? Which factors determined total factor productivity of the large corporations in Ruhr coal mining in the interwar period (1919–1938)?
Business and economic historians in Germany still face quite substantial informational gaps when it comes to assessing firms’ historical performance. While the use of indicators derived from external accounting or the capital market is common, indicators relating more closely to the sphere of production are often neglected, not the least because of data insufficiencies or the effort involved in collecting suitable data. For 15 mining corporations that can be associated with the 100 largest corporations in Germany as of 1938 according to Fiedler (1999), this article documents and interprets estimates of firm-specific total factor productivity and its components for the interwar period.
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