Creative Inquiry

Project Spotlights

Productivity in the Mid-Century Textile Industry

In order to arrive at their results, Bodenhorn's researchers used a composite measure for labor, aggregating across male, female and child laborers, utilizing their respective marginal products as weights. This allowed them to measure changes in effective labor utilization over time, allowing for more accurate results.

Connor Fleck, a senior among the five students taking the class, feels that the experience allowed him the handson experience in quantitative economics that he would not ordinarily have as an undergraduate. Moving on from Clemson, he intends to use this as a platform towards his aspirations of a graduate degree.

As the supervisor for the entire project, Bodenhorn seemed delighted in reliving moments spent interacting with his class. "Data entry is not fun, but the kids did it without complaining and got the job done." The team is now in the process of presenting the research in the form of an academic paper coauthored with Bodenhorn, who intends to submit the paper to academic journals in due time.

According to Bodenhorn, the textile industry was an integral part of South Carolina's history and economy and merits extensive study. Given the exciting new results emerging out of this Creative Inquiry, it seems that this was a semester well spent by the students.

By: Abir Mandal (Decipher Issue 2, Fall 2013)