In 1919 Britain experienced its largest ever reduction in industrial working hours, to 48 per week. In Dowie's view the 48-hour week played a central role in Britain's poor economic performance during the 1920s. Dowie argued that the reduction, together with rapid wage growth, drove up prices. However, Greasly and Oxley found that the First World War (1914-1918) constituted a more powerful negative macroeconomic shock to Britain's competitiveness. And Scott argues that Dowie's thesis ignores considerable evidence that hourly productivity improves when hours are reduced from a high base level. Crucially, Dowie's thesis does not acknowledge that hours were reduced to around 48 hours a week for industrial workers in most industrialized nations at this time so far – undermining any potential impact of reduced hours on industrial productivity relative to other nations.