NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

After the War Boom: Reconversion on the U.S. Pacific Coast, 1943-49

Paul W. Rhode

NBER Working Paper No. 9854
Issued in July 2003
NBER Program(s):   DAE

During the Second World War, the American Pacific Coast experienced a tremendous economic boom fueled by disproportionately large flows of military spending. Even before the conflict's end, fears spread that the region's postwar economy would not provide sufficient jobs for its greatly enlarged labor force. Responsible authorities predicted one million workers one-quarter of the labor force would be unemployed one year after demobilization. But the conversion experience over the 1945-49 period proved far easily than anticipated, a finding which this paper attributes to strong home market effects' highlighted in the new Economic Geography literature. Based on an empirical investigation of the long-run relationship between manufacturing production and the size of the Pacific region's market, this study finds support for the views that the region's economic structure could support multiple equilibria and that the transitory shock of military spending during World War II helped push the Pacific Coast economy from a low-level' equilibrium to a higher-level' equilibrium consistent with the same fundamentals.

download in pdf format
   (321 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (321 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9854

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
McGrattan and Ohanian w12130 Does Neoclassical Theory Account for the Effects of Big Fiscal Shocks? Evidence From World War II
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us