United States Census of Manufactures, 1929-1935, Motor Vehicle Industry (ICPSR 35604)

Published: May 22, 2015 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Daniel Raff, University of Pennsylvania; Timothy F. Bresnahan, Stanford University; Changkeun Lee, University of Michigan; Margaret Levenstein, University of Michigan


Version V1

The United States Census Bureau has conducted surveys of manufacturing activity since 1810 with fluctuating frequency. Between 1919 and 1939 the Census of Manufactures (CM) was conducted biennially. This data collection consists of individual-plant data from the Census of Manufactures for 1929, 1931, 1933, and 1935, the only years in this span for which original returns are available. The records of the Motor Vehicle Industry have been coded to produce an electronic data set to provide the basis for microeconomic evidence for the study of the Great Depression. The data set contains observations on: basic information about the plants (e.g. name, location, owner, etc.), products made and materials used, operation and working hours, employment, wages and salaries, costs and amount of materials used, value and quantity of products by type, and power used.

Raff, Daniel, Bresnahan, Timothy F., Lee, Changkeun, and Levenstein, Margaret. United States Census of Manufactures, 1929-1935, Motor Vehicle Industry. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-05-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35604.v1

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National Science Foundation (SES9023021), Institute for New Economic Thinking (INO11-00006)


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1929, 1931, 1933, 1935
1991-03-15 -- 1996-08-31

In the 1929 "Census of Manufactures," 10 plants either did not respond or had census notations in the margins indicating that the figures were incorrect. Because of budgetary restrictions for census edits, there is the potential for more uncaught errors in the man-hours data. (For 1929, the census did not publish aggregate man-hours statistics.)

This collection is an edited version the Motor Vehicle Industry data from ICPSR Study #31761: Census of Manufactures, Motor Vehicle and Textile Industry Plants, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935 [United States]. Changes include editing erroneous and missing information as well as reorganizing the data into industry specific datasets.

For related information regarding the Census of Manufactures, please visit the United States Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures Web site and the United States Census Bureau's Economic Census Web site.

No sampling was applied. The universe of reporting firms is included in the dataset.

Longitudinal: Panel

United States Motor Vehicle Manufacturers with sales over $50,000.

Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Plant or Establishment

United States Census Bureau, Census of Manufactures, 1929, 1931, 1933, 1935.

census/enumeration data



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Raff, Daniel, Timothy F. Bresnahan, Changkeun Lee, and Margaret Levenstein. United States Census of Manufactures, 1929-1935, Motor Vehicle Industry. ICPSR35604-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-05-22. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35604.v1

2015-05-22 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data are not weighted, the data set contains no weight variables.


  • These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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