IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/exehis/v51y2014icp41-59.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Economic growth in the Mid-Atlantic region: Conjectural estimates for 1720 to 1800

Author

Listed:
  • Rosenbloom, Joshua L.
  • Weiss, Thomas

Abstract

We construct decadal estimates of GDP per capita for the colonies and states of the Mid-Atlantic region between 1720 and 1800. They show that the region likely achieved modest improvements in per capita GDP over this period despite a number of demographic factors that tended to slow the pace of growth. Nonetheless the rate of growth we find is below that commonly assumed to have prevailed in eighteenth century North America and calls those estimates into question. The striking feature of the region's economy in the eighteenth century was not the rising living-standard, but its ability to achieve rapid extensive growth without a decline in living standards. To contemporaries this extensive growth and short-term volatility in incomes must have been much more visible than any trend improvement in overall well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Weiss, Thomas, 2014. "Economic growth in the Mid-Atlantic region: Conjectural estimates for 1720 to 1800," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-59.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:51:y:2014:i:c:p:41-59
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2013.08.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014498313000351
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shepherd, James F. & Williamson, Samuel H., 1972. "The Coastal Trade of the British North American Colonies, 1768–1772," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(04), pages 783-810, December.
    2. Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
    3. Marvin Towne & Wayne Rasmussen, 1960. "Farm Gross Product and Gross Investment in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters,in: Trends in the American Economy in the Nineteenth Century, pages 255-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Main, Gloria L. & Main, Jackson T., 1988. "Economic Growth and the Standard of Living in Southern New England, 1640–1774," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 27-46, March.
    5. Allen, Robert C. & Murphy, Tommy E. & Schneider, Eric B., 2012. "The Colonial Origins of the Divergence in the Americas: A Labor Market Approach," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(04), pages 863-894, December.
    6. Clark, Gregory, 2013. "1381 and the Malthus delusion," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 4-15.
    7. Lindert, Peter H. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2013. "American Incomes Before and After the Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(03), pages 725-765, September.
    8. Thomas J. Weiss, 1992. "U. S. Labor Force Estimates and Economic Growth, 1800-1860," NBER Chapters,in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 19-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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, vol. 27(02), pages 151-197, June.
    10. Broadberry, Stephen & Campbell, Bruce M.S. & van Leeuwen, Bas, 2013. "When did Britain industrialise? The sectoral distribution of the labour force and labour productivity in Britain, 1381–1851," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 16-27.
    11. Peter C. Mancall & Joshua L. Rosenbloom & Thomas Weiss, 2000. "Conjectural Estimates of Economic Growth in the Lower South, 1720 to 1800," NBER Historical Working Papers 0126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Kulikoff, Allan, 1979. "The Economic Growth of the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake Colonies," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(01), pages 275-288, March.
    13. Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2007. "Pessimism Preserved: Real Wages in the British Industrial Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 314, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    14. Robert E. Gallman & Thomas J. Weiss, 1969. "The Service Industries in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters,in: Production and Productivity in the Service Industries, pages 287-381 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Robert E. Gallman & John Joseph Wallis, 1992. "American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gall92-1, April.
    16. Thomas Weiss, 1989. "Economic Growth Before 1860: Revised Conjectures," NBER Historical Working Papers 0007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Taylor, George Rogers, 1964. "American Economic Growth Before 1840: An Exploratory Essay," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(04), pages 427-444, December.
    18. Ball, D. E. & Walton, G. M., 1976. "Agricultural Productivity Change in Eighteenth-Century Pennsylvania," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 102-117, March.
    19. Grubb, Farley, 2004. "The circulating medium of exchange in colonial Pennsylvania, 1729-1775: new estimates of monetary composition, performance, and economic growth," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 329-360, October.
    20. Mancall, Peter C. & Weiss, Thomas, 1999. "Was Ecomomic Growth Likely in Colonial British North America?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 17-40, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Peter H. Lindert & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2016. "American colonial incomes, 1650–1774," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(1), pages 54-77, February.
    2. Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 2018. "The Colonial American Economy," ISU General Staff Papers 201802270800001039, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 2018. "The Colonial American Economy," ISU General Staff Papers 201802270800001002, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-15-00420 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; Colonial U.S.; Early national period;

    JEL classification:

    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N51 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N71 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N91 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:51:y:2014:i:c:p:41-59. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.