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United States Census of Manufactures, 1929-1935, Cotton Goods Industry (ICPSR 35605)

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


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 Cotton Goods Industry have been coded to produce an electronic dataset to provide the basis for microeconomic evidence for the study of the Great Depression. The dataset 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 of products and processing tax (1933 and 1935), machinery, and power used.

Access Notes

  • 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. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.

  • These data have been updated since their release as https://doi.org/ICPSR35605.v1, which you used to locate the data. If you need access to a previous version of the data (e.g., to replicate results in an article or report), you can contact ICPSR User Support to find out if a prior version is available.


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Study Description


Raff, Daniel, Timothy F. Bresnahan, Changkeun Lee, and Margaret Levenstein. United States Census of Manufactures, 1929-1935, Cotton Goods Industry. ICPSR35605-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-05-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35605.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35605.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    census data, economic behavior, economic trends, employment, Great Depression (1929), industrial plants, industrial production, industry, manufacturing industry, production costs, production levels

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Address

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1929
  • 1931
  • 1933
  • 1935

Date of Collection:   

  • 1991-03-15--1996-08-31

Unit of Observation:    Cotton Goods Manufacturing Plant or Establishment

Universe:    United States cotton goods producers, 1929-1935, with revenues over $50,000.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data

Data Collection Notes:

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 Textile 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.


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

Time Method:    Longitudinal: Panel

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

Mode of Data Collection:    mail questionnaire

Data Source:

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

Extent of Processing:   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.


Original ICPSR Release:   2015-05-14

Version History:

  • 2015-05-22 ICPSR Codebook updated.



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