IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/adl/wpaper/2001-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Productivity of U.S. States Since 1880

Author

Listed:
  • Kris James Mitchener

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

  • Ian W. McLean

    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Abstract

This study identifies the determinants of interstate variation in labor productivity levels at twenty-year intervals between 1880 and 1980. Focusing on fundamental rather than proximate influences, we find that institutional characteristics, physical geography, and resource abundance can account for a high proportion of the differences in state productivity levels. States with navigable waterways, a large minerals endowment, and no slaves in 1860, on average, had higher labor productivity levels throughout the sample period. No consistent support was found for two other influences given prominence in cross-country analyses of differences in incomes or productivity levels: climate and the quality of government.

Suggested Citation

  • Kris James Mitchener & Ian W. McLean, 2001. "The Productivity of U.S. States Since 1880," School of Economics Working Papers 2001-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:wpaper:2001-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://media.adelaide.edu.au/economics/papers/doc/wp2001-08.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Temin, Peter, 1976. "The Post-Bellum Recovery of the South and the Cost of the Civil War," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(4), pages 898-907, December.
    2. Wright, Gavin, 1990. "The Origins of American Industrial Success, 1879-1940," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 651-668, September.
    3. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
    4. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-186, September.
    5. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1992. "Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 317-334, December.
    6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    7. Mitchener, Kris James & McLean, Ian W., 1999. "U.S.Regional Growth And Convergence, 1880–1980," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 1016-1042, December.
    8. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990.
    9. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    11. Ronald Findlay, 1995. "Factor Proportions, Trade, and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061759, April.
    12. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
    13. Wright, Gavin, 1987. "The Economic Revolution in the American South," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 161-178, Summer.
    14. Sachs, J-D & Warner, A-M, 1995. "Natural Resource Abundance and Economic Growth," Papers 517a, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    15. Andrew D. Mellinger & Jeffrey D. Sachs & John L. Gallup, 1999. "Climate, Water Navigability, and Economic Development," CID Working Papers 24, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    16. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    17. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, "undated". "The Productivity of Nations," Working Papers 96012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    18. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    19. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, April.
    20. Musoke, Moses S. & Olmstead, Alan L., 1982. "The Rise of the Cotton Industry in California: A Comparative Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 385-412, June.
    21. Landes, David S, 1990. "Why Are We So Rich and They So Poor?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 1-13, May.
    22. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
    23. Redding, Stephen, 1999. "Dynamic Comparative Advantage and the Welfare Effects of Trade," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 15-39, January.
    24. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-86, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Barbier,Edward B., 2007. "Natural Resources and Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521706513.
    2. W. A. Naudé, 2004. "The effects of policy, institutions and geography on economic growth in Africa: an econometric study based on cross-section and panel data," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 821-849.
    3. Artelaris, Panagiotis & Arvanitidis, Paschalis & Petrakos, George, 2007. "Explaining Knowledge-Based Economic Dynamism in a Global Scale," Papers DYNREG05, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Arvanitidis, Paschalis & Petrakos, George & Pavleas, Sotiris, 2007. "Determinants of economic growth: the experts’ view," Papers DYNREG20, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Derek Headey, 2008. "The Principal Components of Growth in the Less Developed Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 568-598, November.
    6. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 2003. "Tropics, germs, and crops: how endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 3-39, January.
    7. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546.," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346, Elsevier.
    8. Guy Michaels, 2011. "The Long Term Consequences of Resource‐Based Specialisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 31-57, March.
    9. Oleg Badunenko & Daniel Henderson & Romain Houssa, 2014. "Significant drivers of growth in Africa," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 339-354, December.
    10. Tobias D. Ketterer & Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2018. "Institutions vs. ‘first‐nature’ geography: What drives economic growth in Europe's regions?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(S1), pages 25-62, March.
    11. Stijns, Jean-Philippe C., 2005. "Natural resource abundance and economic growth revisited," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 107-130, June.
    12. Stephen Knowles & P. Dorian Owen, 2010. "Which Institutions are Good for Your Health? The Deep Determinants of Comparative Cross-country Health Status," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 701-723.
    13. David Castells-Quintana & Maria del Pilar Lopez-Uribe & Tom McDermott, 2015. "Climate change and the geographical and institutional drivers of economic development," GRI Working Papers 198, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    14. P. Dorian Owen, 2017. "Evaluating Ingenious Instruments for Fundamental Determinants of Long-Run Economic Growth and Development," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 5(3), pages 1-33, September.
    15. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. "States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-369, December.
    16. Lopez-Uribe, Maria del Pilar & Castells-Quintana, David & McDermott, Thomas K. J., 2017. "Geography, institutions and development: a review ofthe long-run impacts of climate change," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Ilkhom SHARIPOV, 2016. "ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE EU’S EaP COUNTRIES: DETERMINANTS AND PROSPECTS," EURINT, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 3, pages 169-187.
    18. Maria ABREU & Henri L.F. DE GROOT & Raymond J.G.M. FLORAX, 2005. "Space And Growth: A Survey Of Empirical Evidence And Methods," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 21, pages 13-44.
    19. Daniel Oto Peralías & Daniel Oto-Peralías & Diego Romero-Ávila, 2012. "Tracing the Link between Government Size and Growth: The Role of Public Sector Quality," EcoMod2012 4015, EcoMod.
    20. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic growth; productivity levels; slavery; natural resources;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • Q32 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Exhaustible Resources and Economic Development
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    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:adl:wpaper:2001-08. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/decadau.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Nicolas Groshenny (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/decadau.html .

    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.