On economies of scale during the nineteenth century, much is assumed, but little is known. This study, first published in 1985, seeks to close this gap in our knowledge by providing comprehensive empirical evidence on the status of economies of scale in mid-nineteenth century manufacturing industry. This evidence is in the form of production function estimates made using data from the manuscripts of the federal censuses of manufacturing for 1850, 1860 and 1870.
1. On the Historical Significance of Economies of Scale 2. On the Estimation of Economies of Scale 3. The Data and Tests of the Samples 4. The Econometric Interpretation of the Production Function Estimates 5. Production Conditions for Intra-Regionally Traded Commodities 6. Production Conditions for Inter-Regionally Traded Commodities 7. The Aggregate Regional Production Function 8. The Sensitivity of Returns to Scale to Units and Methods of Measurement 9. Some Evidence on Decreasing Scale Elasticity 10. The Survivor Technique and Optimal Plant Size 11. Conclusions