We would like to thank Todd Sorensen, Trevor Kollman, Jennifer Yelle, Bill McNerney, Peter Vu, Doug Larue, Josh Easterlin, and Allison Johnson for their invaluable help in organizing and computerizing the data. We are grateful to Martin Feldstein and the National Bureau of Economic Research for financial support of this project. The National Science Foundation provided grant support to fund collection of the data from the New Deal project used in this article. Any analysis and interpretations in the article should not be seen as representing the views of those organizations. We received invaluable advice on earlier versions of this article from several anonymous referees, in presentations at the University of Arizona Economics Department, University of Wales at Swansea, Warwick University, Lehigh University, Columbia University, Oxford University, Seoul National University, McGill University, CEPS-INSTEAD, Harvard Business School, the 2007 Economic History Association Meetings, and from the following people: Manuela Angelucci, Stephen Broadberry, Alan Dye, Alphonso Flores-Lagunes, Claudia Goldin, Bishnupriya Gupta, Knick Harley, Robert Higgs, Kei Hirano, Rick Hornbeck, William Horrace, Jane Humphries, Taylor Jaworski, Shawn Kantor, Robert Margo, Ronald Oaxaca, Anthony O'Brien, Paul Rhode, Todd Sorensen, Richard Sutch, Richard Sylla, John Treble, and John Wallis.
Second World War spending and local economic activity in US counties, 1939–58†
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2013
© Economic History Society 2013
The Economic History Review
Volume 66, Issue 4, pages 975–992, November 2013
How to Cite
Fishback, P. and Cullen, J. A. (2013), Second World War spending and local economic activity in US counties, 1939–58. The Economic History Review, 66: 975–992. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2012.00677.x
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 28 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 22 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 7 DEC 2011
- Martin Feldstein and the National Bureau of Economic Research
- National Science Foundation
Studies of the development of local economies often point to large-scale Second World War military spending as a source of economic growth, even though spending declined sharply after demobilization. We examine the relationship between war spending per capita and the changes in economic activity in US counties between 1939 before the war and a period several years after the war. In the longer term counties receiving more war spending per capita during the war experienced greater population growth, but growth in per capita measures of economic activity showed little relationship with per capita war spending.