Economic Growth Before 1860: Revised Conjectures
The current view of U.S. economic growth before 1860 is based on the conjectural estimates of output made by Paul David (1967). This paper sets forth new estimates of the farm labor force for the period 1800 to 1860 and uses them to revise those conjectures about growth of per capita output. An additional conjectural estimate is produced based on recent evidence about manufacturing productivity. The new estimates lower the farm labor forces in the years before 1830 by 10 to 15 percent, while raising the figures for 1840, 1850, and 1860 by 5 to 9 percent. As a consequence the farm work force grew more rapidly than was previously believed, and farm productivity grew more slowly. The impact of the revisions varied by subperiod, and is concentrated almost entirely in the middle 20 years. Because the advance in farm productivity was the major determinant of change in the conjectural estimates of per capita output, that series shows a slower rate of growth as well, especially over the period 1820 to 1840. A refined estimate, which incorporates the recent evidence on manufacturing productivity, alters the picture somewhat, but still shows slower growth and more gradual acceleration of output per capita than is revealed in the David series.
|Date of creation:||Oct 1989|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Economic Development in Historical Perspective, ed. Donald Schaefer and Thomas Weiss. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994.|
|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
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- 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.
- Michael R. Haines, 1989. "Consumer Behavior and Immigrant Assimilation: A comparison of the United States, Britain and Germany, 1889/1890," NBER Historical Working Papers 0006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thomas Weiss, 1987. "The Farm Labor Force by Region, 1820-1860: Revised Estimates and Implications for Growth," NBER Working Papers 2438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David, Paul A., 1977. "Invention and accumulation in america's economic growth: A nineteenth-century parable," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 179-228, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0007. 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: ()
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.