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Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America

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Author Info

  • Joseph H. Davis

    (Vanguard Group and National Bureau of Economic Research.)

  • Christopher Hanes

    (State University of New York at Binghamton.)

  • Paul W. Rhode

    (University of Arizona and National Bureau of Economic Research.)

Abstract

Most major American industrial business cycles from around 1880 to the First World War were caused by fluctuations in the size of the cotton harvest due to economically exogenous factors such as weather. Wheat and corn harvests did not affect industrial production; nor did the cotton harvest before the late 1870s. The unique effect of the cotton harvest in this period can be explained as an essentially monetary phenomenon, the result of interactions between harvests, international gold flows, and high-powered money demand under America's gold-standard regime of 1879-1914. (c) 2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 124 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1675-1727

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:4:p:1675-1727

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References

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  1. Charles W. Calomiris & Christopher Hanes, 1994. "Historical Macroeconomics and American Macroeconomic History," NBER Working Papers 4935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and theFounding of the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 125-40, March.
  3. Barsky, Robert B. & Mankiw, N. Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A. & Weill, David N., 1988. "The worldwide change in the behavior of interest rates and prices in 1914," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1123-1147, June.
  4. Susanto Basu & Alan M. Taylor, 1999. "Business Cycles in International Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
  6. Francis X. Diebold & Steven Husted & Mark Rush, 1990. "Real exchange rates under the gold standard," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 32, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2002. "The Red Queen and the Hard Reds: Productivity Growth in American Wheat, 1800 1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(04), pages 929-966, December.
  8. Jeffrey A. Miron & Christina D. Romer & David N. Weil, 1994. "Historical Perspectives on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 263-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Waston, Mark, 1997. "Systematic Monetary Policy and the Effects of Oil Price Shocks," Working Papers 97-25, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  10. Paul W. Rhode, 2002. "Gallman's Annual Output Series for the United States, 1834-1909," NBER Working Papers 8860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hanes, Christopher, 1999. "Degrees of Processing and Changes in the Cyclical Behavior of Prices in the Untied States, 1869-1990," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 35-53, February.
  12. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
  13. Lothian, James R & Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Real Exchange Rate Behavior: The Recent Float from the Perspective of the Past Two Centuries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 488-509, June.
  14. Alogoskoufis, George S & Smith, Ron, 1991. "The Phillips Curve, the Persistence of Inflation, and the Lucas Critique: Evidence from Exchange-Rate Regimes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1254-75, December.
  15. Miron, Jeffrey A. & Romer, Christina D., 1990. "A New Monthly Index of Industrial Production, 1884–1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(02), pages 321-337, June.
  16. Meissner, Christopher M., 2005. "A new world order: explaining the international diffusion of the gold standard, 1870-1913," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 385-406, July.
  17. Madsen, Jakob B., 2001. "Agricultural Crises And The International Transmission Of The Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(02), pages 327-365, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ritschl, Albrecht & Sarferaz, Samad & Uebele, Martin, 2008. "The U.S. Business Cycle, 1867-1995: A Dynamic Factor Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7069, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Asaf Bernstein & Eric Hughson & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2008. "Can a Lender of Last Resort Stabilize Financial Markets? Lessons from the Founding of the Fed," NBER Working Papers 14422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
  4. Albrecht Ritschl & Samad Sarferaz & Martin Uebele, 2008. "The U.S. Business Cycle, 1867-1995: Dynamic Factor Analysis vs. Reconstructed National Accounts," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-066, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Christopher M. Meissner, 2013. "Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 18814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher Hanes & Paul W. Rhode, 2012. "Harvests and Financial Crises in Gold-Standard America," NBER Working Papers 18616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charles W. Calomiris, 2009. "Banking Crises and the Rules of the Game," Working Papers 2009/14, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
  8. Kupiec, Paul H. & Ramirez, Carlos D., 2013. "Bank failures and the cost of systemic risk: Evidence from 1900 to 1930," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-307.

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