The Farm Labor Force by Region, 1820-1860: Revised Estimates and Implications for Growth
AbstractThis paper sets forth new estimates of the farm labor force covering the period 1820 to 1860, for the United States and the major geographic regions. At the national level, the new figures are noticeably different from the previous estimates. In particular, the new estimates lower the 1820 farm labor force by about 8 percent, while raising the figures for 1840, 1850, and 1860 by 7 to 10 percent. As a consequence, the farm work force grew more rapidly than was previously believed, while farm productivity and per capita income grew more slowly. The impact of the revisions, of course, varied by subperiod. The new figures also alter our picture of variations in regional economic performance, the more so in some regions. In particular, the pace and timing of the shift out of farming in New England has been changed substantially. The paper also discusses the reasons for the discrepancies between the new and old series, and provides some assessment of the new evidence.
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 2438.
Date of creation: Nov 1987
Date of revision:
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
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.:
- Weiss, Thomas, 1967. "The Service Sector in the United States, 1839 to 1899," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 625-628, December.
- Field, Alexander James, 1978. "Sectoral shift in antebellum Massachusetts: A reconsideration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 146-171, April.
- David, Paul A., 1967. "The Growth of Real Product in the United States Before 1840: New Evidence, Controlled Conjectures," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(02), pages 151-197, June.
- Thomas Weiss, 1989. "Economic Growth Before 1860: Revised Conjectures," NBER Historical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arilton Teixeira & Berthold Herrendorf & James A. Schmitz Jr., 2009.
"Transportation and Development:Insights from the U.S. 1840-1860,"
Fucape Working Papers, Fucape Business School
18, Fucape Business School.
- Berthold Herrendorf & James A. Schmitz & Arilton Teixeira, 2009. "Transportation and development: insights from the U.S., 1840-1860," Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 425, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Alan L. Olmstead & Paul W. Rhode, 2010. "Productivity Growth and the Regional Dynamics of Antebellum Southern Development," NBER Working Papers 16494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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.