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Report · October 2001

The Evolution of California Manufacturing

Paul W. Rhode

A remote outpost in 1840, California is now the leading industrial state with a Gross Domestic Product that would place it among the world’s largest national economies.  In The Evolution of California Manufacturing, Paul Rhode uses a unique and comprehensive time series data set to map the state’s industrial development from the Gold Rush to 1997.  After identifying six long-run processes that help account for the state’s emergence as an industrial leader, the study tracks recent trends in California manufacturing.  It  notes that many recent developments-including energy shortages, military cutbacks, and employment volatility-have occurred periodically throughout California’s history, and that the 1990s was not a period of especially rapid structural change.


Economic Growth Economy