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Retail Trade by Federal Reserve District, 1919 to 1939: A Statistical History

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  • Haelim M. Park
  • Gary Richardson

Abstract

Soon after beginning operations, the Federal Reserve established a nationwide network for collecting information about the economy. In 1919, the Fed began tabulating data by about retail sales, which it viewed as a fundamental measure of consumption. From 1920 until 1929, the Federal Reserve published data about retail sales each month by Federal Reserve district, but ceased to do so after 1929. It continued to compile monthly data on retail sales by reserve district, but this data remained in house. We collected these in-house reports from the archives of the Board of Governors and constructed a consistent series on retail trade at the district level. The new series enhances our understanding of economic trends during the Roaring „20s and Great Depression.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16617.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: published as “Retail Trade by Federal Reserve District, 1919 to 1939: A Statistical History.” Forthcoming in Research in Economic History, (with Haelim Park).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16617

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  1. Alston, Lee J., 1983. "Farm Foreclosures in the United States During the Interwar Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 885-903, December.
  2. Temin, Peter, 1976. "Lessons for the Present from the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 40-45, May.
  3. Gary Richardson & William Troost, 2009. "Monetary Intervention Mitigated Banking Panics during the Great Depression: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Federal Reserve District Border, 1929-1933," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(6), pages 1031-1073, December.
  4. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  5. Christina Romer & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1989. "A New Monthly Index of Industrial Production, 1884-1940," NBER Working Papers 3172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alston Lee J. & Grove Wayne A. & Wheelock David C., 1994. "Why Do Banks Fail? Evidence from the 1920s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 409-431, October.
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