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

  • Joshua L. Rosenbloom (a1) and William A. Sundstrom (a2)
Abstract

The impact of the Great Depression was milder in the South Atlantic states, more severe in the Mountain states, and surprisingly uniform across other regions of the countly—despite large differences in industrial structere. Employing data on 20 manufacturing industries disaggregated by state, we analyze the relative contributions of industry mix and location to regional variations in economic performance. Industrial composition had a significant impact on employment growth, with regions that concentrated on durable goods or inputs to construction faring worse than others. Long-run trends also mattered, and explain much of the South Atlantic's more favorable performance.

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The Journal of Economic History
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