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Investment in Fixed and Working Capital During Early Industrialization: Evidence From U.S. Manufacturing Firms

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  • Kenneth L. Sokoloff

Abstract

This paper utilizes a survey of the US manufacturing firms from 1832 to investigate the structure of manufacturing investment during early industrialization. Although several manufacturing industries, such as cotton textiles, depart from the pattern, most appear to have devoted the hulk of their investments to working capitaL This variation across industries in the composition of capital investmentsis indicative of a more general variation in factor intensities, and bears on the issues of why industries became concentrated in the regions they did, and the degrees to which they were adversely affected by the limited availability of long-term loans. Evidence that most manufacturing industries had quite modest investments in machinery and tools per unit of labor is also presented, serving to undercut the notion that the early period of industrialization was based on a proliferation of new, machinery-intensive technologies

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1385.

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Date of creation: Jun 1984
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Publication status: published as Sokoloff, Kenneth L. "Investment in Fixed and Working Capital During Early Industrialization: Evidence From U.S. Manufacturing Firms." Journal of Economic History, Vol. 44, No. 2, (June 1984), pp. 545-556.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1385

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Cited by:
  1. James, John A. & Skinner, Jonathan S., 1985. "The Resolution of the Labor-Scarcity Paradox," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 513-540, September.
  2. Matthew Jaremski & Peter L. Rousseau, 2013. "Banks, Free Banks, And U.S. Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1603-1621, 04.
  3. Sukkoo Kim, 2001. "Markets and Multiunit Firms from an American Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 8232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:van:wpaper:vuecon-sub-12-00014 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Kim, Sukkoo, 1999. "The Rise of Multiunit Firms in U.S. Manufacturing," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 360-386, October.
  6. Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman, 2000. "Downtime in American Manufacturing Industry: 1870 and 1880," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0048, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  7. Sukkoo Kim, 1998. "The Rise of Multiunit Firms in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 6425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Robert A. Margo, 2003. "Capital Deepening in American Manufacturing, 1850-1880," NBER Working Papers 9923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ahmed, Habib, 1998. "Responses in output to monetary shocks and the interest rate: a rational expectations model with working capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 351-358, December.

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