Engines of Growth: Farm Tractors and Twentieth-Century U.S. Economic Welfare
AbstractThe role of twentieth-century agricultural mechanization in changing the productivity, employment opportunities, and appearance of rural America has long been appreciated. Less attention has been paid to the impact made by farm tractors, combines, and associated equipment on the standard of living of the U.S. population as a whole. This paper demonstrates, through use of a detailed counterfactual analysis, that mechanization in the production of farm products increased GDP by more than 8.0 percent, using 1954 as a base year. This result suggests that studying individual innovations can significantly increase our understanding of the nature of economic growth.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17879.
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Note: DAE PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N52 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
- Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-03-08 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2012-03-08 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HME-2012-03-08 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Olmstead, Alan L. & Rhode, Paul W., 2001. "Reshaping The Landscape: The Impact And Diffusion Of The Tractor In American Agriculture, 1910 1960," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 663-698, September.
- Bruland, Kristine & Smith, Keith, 2013. "Assessing the role of steam power in the first industrial revolution: The early work of Nick von Tunzelmann," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1716-1723.
- Richard Hornbeck & Suresh Naidu, 2012.
"When the Levee Breaks: Black Migration and Economic Development in the American South,"
NBER Working Papers
18296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Richard Hornbeck & Suresh Naidu, 2014. "When the Levee Breaks: Black Migration and Economic Development in the American South," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 963-90, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.