NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Commodity Exports, Invisible Exports and Terms of Trade for the Middle Colonies, 1720 to 1775

Peter Mancall, Joshua Rosenbloom, Thomas J. Weiss

NBER Working Paper No. 14334
Issued in September 2008
NBER Program(s):   DAE

Economic historians of the eighteenth-century British mainland North American colonies have given considerable weight to the role of exports as a stimulus for economic growth. Yet their analyses have been handicapped by reliance on one or two time series to serve as indicators of broader changes rather than considering the export sector as a whole. Here we present new comprehensive export measures for the middle colonies. We find that aggregate exports in constant prices grew very quickly, but barely faster than population during the period under consideration. Furthermore, improvements in the terms of trade increased the colonists’ ability to buy imports over time, especially after 1740. Although the export sector performed well, it constituted a relatively small part of the region’s economy. It is uncertain if this export success was sufficient to propel the entire economy at a rate that exceeded the growth of population.

download in pdf format
   (528 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (528 K) or via email.

An online appendix is available for this publication.

This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Mancall, Rosenbloom, and Weiss w12045 Exports and Slow Economic Growth in the Lower South Region, 1720-1800
Mancall, Rosenbloom, and Weiss h0126 Conjectural Estimates of Economic Growth in the Lower South, 1720 to 1800
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us