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Planning and Control of Public Works

  • Economics
  • Political Science


Public and Private Construction This PDF is a selection from an out-of-print volume from the National Bureau of Economic Research Volume Title: Planning and Control of Public Works Volume Author/Editor: Leo Wolman Volume Publisher: NBER Volume ISBN: 0-87014-016-7 Volume URL: Publication Date: 1930 Chapter Title: Public and Private Construction Chapter Author: Leo Wolman Chapter URL: Chapter pages in book: (p. 104 - 126) CHAPTER V PUBLIC AND PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION One striking feature of the American business situation since 1922 has been the persistence of an unusually high level of con- struction activity. From 1919 to 1928 total annual construction increased without interruption and was in the latest year more than twice as large as in 1919. The year 1927 witnessed a slight drop in construction, 'but in 1928 the total rose to a new level for all times. The first severe drop during the whole of this period came in 1929 when total construction was more than $800,000,000 below the year before and had dropped below the level prevailing in 1925. This condition of large construction expenditures has been the source of considerable discussion. It has by some been regarded as one of the principal causes of the revival during 1922 and of the business prosperity since. Certainly the association of high indus- trial production and heavy outlays on all types of construction is an economic fact of profound significance. Those who explain the post-war spurt in construction in terms of war deficiencies, arising out of government restriction and the diversion of capital to other uses, probably regard the present movement as near its close. The most satisfactory analysis of this situation, however, discloses a close relation between construction expansion and higher standards of living in the country, and, leads to the conclusion that such reces- sions as are experienced will proceed from a higher level

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