Although there has been a growing interest in regional economic development, the important aspect of regional business fluctuations has not received corresponding attention. This study focuses upon the relative cyclical behavior of income and employment in the Southeastern United States following the Second World War and seeks to determine in particular what effect the industrial composition of the region has had upon income and employment.
Using the procedures of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Mr. McGee identifies four complete cycles of general business activity during the postwar period. Within this frame of reference he analyzes the fluctuations of nineteen selected income and employment series, comparing these with respect to their turning points, durations, and amplitudes. Where possible aggregate series were broken down and analyzed further to isolate characteristics of the behavior of income and employment in the Southeast.
Though the limitations of available data prevent definitive conclusions, business cycles apparently affect the Southeast more strongly than they do the nation as a whole. In the area of non-agricultural employment, however, differentials though slight are sufficient to render questionable the description of the region as one of slow economic growth. Moreover, Mr. McGee finds, the industrial mix of the Southeast is more favorable than that of the United States as a whole.