Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Sources of Regional Variation in the Severity of the Great Depression: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing, 1919-1937

43 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2000 Last revised: 7 Oct 2010

Joshua L. Rosenbloom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Iowa State University - Department of Economics

William A. Sundstrom

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department

Date Written: November 1997

Abstract

The severity of the Great Depression in the United States varied by region. Most notably compared with the rest of the country, the South Atlantic states experienced a milder contraction while the Mountain states suffered more severely. The impact of the contraction was more" uniform across other regions of the country--surprisingly so, considering the large regional" differences in industrial structure. We employ data from the biennial Census of Manufactures on" 20 individual manufacturing industries disaggregated by state to analyze the relative" contributions of industry mix and location to regional variations in economic performance during" the period 1919-1937. Industrial composition had a significant impact on regional employment" growth, with regions that concentrated on the production of durable goods or inputs to the" construction sector tending to fare worse than others. Long-run regional trends also played an" important role in regional variation, and explain much of the South Atlantic region's more" favorable performance over the cycle.

Suggested Citation

Rosenbloom, Joshua L. and Sundstrom, William A., The Sources of Regional Variation in the Severity of the Great Depression: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing, 1919-1937 (November 1997). NBER Working Paper No. w6288. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226045

Joshua L. Rosenbloom (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Iowa State University - Department of Economics ( email )

260 Heady Hall
Ames, IA 50011
United States

William A. Sundstrom

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA California 95053
United States
408-554-4341 (Phone)
408-554-2331 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Downloads
28
Abstract Views
672