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Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America

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

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 gold-standard regime of 1879-1914.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14686.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Publication status: published as Joseph H. Davis & Christopher Hanes & Paul W. Rhode, 2009. "Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1675-1727, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14686
Note: DAE
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