Department of Economics, UCB 256
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2017||World War II and the Industrialization of the American South|
When private incentives are insufficient, a big push by government may lead to industrialization. This paper uses mobilization for World War II to test the big push hypothesis in the context of postwar industrialization in the American South. Specifically, I investigate the role of capital deepening at the county level using newly assembled data on the location and value of wartime investment. Despite a boom in manufacturing activity during the war, the evidence is not consistent with differential growth in counties that received more investment. This does not rule out positive effects of mobilization on firms or sectors, but a decisive role for wartime capital deepening in the Souths postwar industrial development should be viewed more skeptically.
|May 2016||Ownership and the Price of Residential Electricity: Evidence from the United States, 1935-1940|
with Carl T. Kitchens: w22254
In this paper, we quantify the difference between public and private prices of residential electricity immediately before and after major federal reforms in the 1930s and 1940s. Previous research found that public prices were lower in a sample of large, urban markets. Based on new data covering over 15,000 markets and nearly all electricity generated for residential consumption, we find the difference between public and private prices was small in 1935 and negligible in 1940 for typical levels of monthly consumption. These findings are consistent with a market for ownership that helped to discipline electricity prices during this period. That is, private rents were mitigated by the threat that municipalities would use public ownership to respond to constituent complaints and public rents w...
Published: Carl T. Kitchens & Taylor Jaworski, 2016. "Ownership and the price of residential electricity: Evidence from the United States, 1935–1940," Explorations in Economic History, . citation courtesy of
|March 2016||National Policy for Regional Development: Evidence from Appalachian Highways|
with Carl T. Kitchens: w22073
How effective are policies aimed at integrating isolated regions? We answer this question using the construction of a highway system in one of the poorest regions in the United States. With construction starting in 1965, the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) ultimately consisted of over 2,500 high-grade road miles. Motivated by a model of inter-regional trade we estimate the elasticity of total income with respect to market access, which we then use to evaluate the overall impact of the ADHS. We find that removing the ADHS would have reduced the total income by $45.9 billion or, roughly, 1 percent. Ultimately, the population response to improvements in transportation infrastructure reduced the gains in income per capita, which were equal to $515 (1.4 percent) in the poorest co...