a1 Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, College of Business Administration, The University of Tennessee, 524 Stokely Management Center, Knoxville, TN 37996. E-mail: email@example.com.
Economists frequently hypothesize that industrialization contributed to the United States’ nineteenth-century fertility decline. I exploit the circumstances surrounding industrialization in South Carolina between 1881 and 1900 to show that the establishment of textile mills coincided with a 6–10 percent fertility reduction. Migrating households are responsible for most of the observed decline. Higher rates of textile employment and child mortality for migrants can explain part of the result, and I conjecture that an increase in child-raising costs induced by the separation of migrant households from their extended families may explain the remaining gap in migrant-native fertility.
I am grateful to Joe Ferrie, Joel Mokyr, Chris Taber, Xavier Duran, Tim Guinnane, Matthias Doepke, Lou Cain, Celeste Carruthers, Bill Neilson, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and suggestions. This article has also benefited from the input of the Washington-Area Economic History Seminar, the Cliometrics Conference, the National Bureau of Economics Research Summer Institute, Yale University's Economic History Seminar, Northwestern's Economic History Seminar, Northwestern's Labor Lunch, and the University of Tennessee's Economics Brownbag. Funding for this research from Northwestern University in the form of a Graduate Research Grant, Graduate Research Fellowship, and Presidential Fellowship are gratefully acknowledged, as is funding from the Economic History Association's Research Travel Grant.