America's First Great Moderation

  title={America's First Great Moderation},
  author={Joseph H. Davis and Marc D. Weidenmier},
  journal={The Journal of Economic History},
We identify the longest expansion in U.S. history, a recession-free 16-year period from 1841 to 1856 that we call America's First Great Moderation. Using newer data on industrial production, we show that the record-long expansion was primarily driven by a boom in transportation-goods investment following the discovery of gold in California. Furthermore, the low volatility of industrial production and stock returns during the First Great Moderation, which occurred during a period without a U.S… 

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