Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth (Studies in by Stanley L. Engerman, Robert E. Gallman

By Stanley L. Engerman, Robert E. Gallman

These vintage reports of the heritage of monetary swap in nineteenth- and 20th-century usa, Canada, and British West Indies study nationwide product; capital inventory and wealth; and fertility, healthiness, and mortality. "A 'must have' within the library of the intense financial historian."—Samuel Bostaph, Southern fiscal Journal

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C. Urquhart the settlers, of there being a viable market for wheat is beyond doubt. But the great engine of growth of the period was the enormous investment expenditure associated with that settlement. During the 1914-18 war, investment expenditure languished and, although recovering somewhat from wartime levels in the 1920s, it did not retain anything like the relative eminence of the lusty levels of 1900-1914. We shall return to the roles and interrelationships of investment and exports, but first we should look at some other relevant items.

T'Ratio of export prices to import prices 1899 = 1. rapid extensive growth (growth in population) or intensive growth (growth in income per capita) or some combination of the two. They usually argued that the emergence of staples led to periods of rapid population growth which would, of course, cause growth of aggregate output. In fact, Mackintosh judged the relative growth in the Province of Canada in the 1850s and 1860s by the relative rates of population growth in the two decades and, indeed, noted that a central objective of national policy after confederation was the settlement of the west, and that objective, on a grand scale, presumably meant substantial aggregate population growth.

I shall not go into the details of the way in which the traditionalists saw the staples as contributing to growth nor the arguments of the critics about the inadequacies of the traditionalists' explanations: such would take too much space. A well-rounded analytical statement and evaluation of the issues and contentions is given in Richard E. Caves's "Export-Led Growth and the New Economic History" in the Kindleberger festschrift (Caves 1971). Rather, I shall just examine the extent to which our data at least seem consistent with what the traditonalists or their critics would expect us to observe.

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