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Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America

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  • Joseph H. Davis
  • Christopher Hanes
  • Paul W. Rhode

Abstract

Most major American industrial business cycles from around 1880 to the First World War were caused by fluctuations in the size of the cotton harvest due to economically exogenous factors such as weather. Wheat and corn harvests did not affect industrial production; nor did the cotton harvest before the late 1870s. The unique effect of the cotton harvest in this period can be explained as an essentially monetary phenomenon, the result of interactions between harvests, international gold flows, and high-powered money demand under America's goldstandard regime of 1879–1914.

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  • Joseph H. Davis & Christopher Hanes & Paul W. Rhode, 2009. "Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1675-1727.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:4:p:1675-1727.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2009.124.4.1675
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph H. Davis & Christopher Hanes & Paul W. Rhode, 2009. "Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1675-1727.
    2. Asaf Bernstein & Eric Hughson & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2008. "Can a Lender of Last Resort Stabilize Financial Markets? Lessons from the Founding of the Fed," NBER Working Papers 14422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Charles W. Calomiris, 2009. "Banking Crises and the Rules of the Game," Working Papers 2009/14, Czech National Bank.
    4. Ritschl, Albrecht & Sarferaz, Samad & Uebele, Martin, 2008. "The U.S. Business Cycle, 1867-1995: A Dynamic Factor Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7069, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Daniel Kaufmann, 2017. "Is Deflation Costly After All? The Perils of Erroneous Historical Classifications," IRENE Working Papers 17-09, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Hanes, Christopher & Rhode, Paul W., 2013. "Harvests and Financial Crises in Gold Standard America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 201-246, March.
    7. Bernstein, Asaf & Hughson, Eric & Weidenmier, Marc D., 2010. "Identifying the effects of a lender of last resort on financial markets: Lessons from the founding of the fed," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 40-53, October.
    8. Perez, Stephen J. & Siegler, Mark V., 2006. "Agricultural and monetary shocks before the great depression: A graph-theoretic causal investigation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 720-736, December.
    9. Christopher M. Meissner, 2013. "Capital Flows, Credit Booms, and Financial Crises in the Classical Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 18814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bazot, Guillaume & Monnet, Eric & Morys, Matthias, 2019. "Taming the gobal financial cycle: Central banks and the sterilization of capital flows in the first era of globalization," IBF Paper Series 03-19, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.
    11. Bazot, Guillaume & Monnet, Eric & Morys, Matthias, 2019. "Taming the Global Financial Cycle: Central Banks and the Sterilization of Capital Flows in the First Era of Globalization (1891-1913)," CEPR Discussion Papers 13895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Ritschl, Albrecht & Sarferaz, Samad & Uebele, Martin, 2008. "The U.S. business cycle, 1867-1995: dynamic factor analysis vs. reconstructed national accounts," Economic History Working Papers 22305, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    13. Joseph Davis & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2016. "America's First Great Moderation," NBER Working Papers 21856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
    15. Kupiec, Paul H. & Ramirez, Carlos D., 2013. "Bank failures and the cost of systemic risk: Evidence from 1900 to 1930," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 285-307.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N51 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N61 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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