Regional Cycles of Manufacturing Employment in the United States: 1914-1953

Regional Cycles of Manufacturing Employment in the United States: 1914-1953

Regional Cycles of Manufacturing Employment in the United States: 1914-1953

Regional Cycles of Manufacturing Employment in the United States: 1914-1953

Excerpt

The study of regional business cycles in the United States has only recently been opened to the attention of economists.1 It has waited upon the preparation of data adequate for describing economic fluctuations within geographic sectors of the country. When data for only a few regions were available, investigators were forced to neglect any systematic differences in regional behavior that might exist and to assume that a few observations could be used to describe economic behavior in the United States as a whole.2

There is, of course, wide interest in the regional impact of business fluctuations. Both the businessman and the public administrator must be concerned with how economic change affects specific localities. The state employment security division officers who administer unemployment compensation funds are an example. The solvency of these funds depends upon the severity with which business cycle contractions affect the various states. Some of the conditions which determine the severity of regional cycles have been ascertained by this study and may be useful in predicting what might be expected in the various states at times of sharp economic change.

We have also attempted to abstract from the history of regional business cycles some clues as to how prosperity and depression spread from one region to another and some of the reasons why there are marked regional differences in economic behavior. The record that follows will show that some states show a much sharper response to business cycle changes than that experienced by the nation as a whole, while other states are relatively immune. In this respect our data may provide an additional laboratory for the economic statistician seeking new relationships among the many variables that determine economic change.3

The results of this study suggest a relation between economic growth and . . .

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