I’ve frequently pointed out, here and elsewhere, that a good deal of past Soviet and present Chinese economic growth resulted from transferring relatively unproductive agricultural labor to manufacturing. In the middle of the 20th century the Soviet economy was the marvel of the world just as the Chinese economy is now and much of its economic growth was for just that reason. The Soviets had the aggravating problem that they did not increase agricultural production while they did it as the Chinese have. A key problem with this strategy is that eventually the process of transition ends. Then what?
How much of American economic growth during the second half of the 20th century was for a similar reason? Unlike the North the American South had large numbers of small farms and even subsistence agricultural right into the 1960s. Rather than examine the multiple reasons for the transition I think I’ll just leave it as a question.
How great a role did the resurgence of the South in the second half of the 20th century play in total U. S. post-war growth?