Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America

  title={Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America},
  author={Joseph H. Davis and Christopher Hanes and Paul W. Rhode},
  journal={NBER Working Paper Series},
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… Expand
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