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Fifty years of urban accessibility: The impact of the urban railway network on the land gradient in Berlin 1890-1936

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  • Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M.
  • Wendland, Nicolai

Abstract

As the first to use an archival data set on historical land values in Berlin, Germany, from 1890 to 1936, we investigate the impact of the rapid transport system on urban decentralization, using comparative statics of classical rent theory as a benchmark. We find that the monocentric model performs well over the entire period studied, revealing gradients that - although diminishing over time - turn out to be relatively steep in international comparison. Travel time to CBD measures incorporating the rapid transport network, however, clearly outperform traditional distance to CBD measures in terms of explanatory power. The evolution of the rapid transit network, and the subsequent changes in travel times to the CBD, explain almost three quarter of the overall trend in decentralization. Endogeneity concerns are addressed in an IV framework using a counterfactual transport network as an instrument.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 77-88

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:41:y:2011:i:2:p:77-88

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Keywords: Transport innovations Land values Location productivity Economic history Berlin;

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  1. McMillen, Daniel P., 1996. "One Hundred Fifty Years of Land Values in Chicago: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 100-124, July.
  2. Kau, James B. & Sirmans, C. F., 1979. "Urban land value functions and the price elasticity of demand for housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 112-121, January.
  3. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1991. "Urban land value functions with endogenous zoning," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 14-27, January.
  4. Daniel P. McMillen, 2010. "Issues In Spatial Data Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 119-141.
  5. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Wendland, Nicolai, 2009. "Looming stations: Valuing transport innovations in historical context," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 97-99, October.
  6. Gabriel Ahlfeldt, 2011. "If Alonso Was Right: Modeling Accessibility And Explaining The Residential Land Gradient," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 318-338, 05.
  7. McMillen Daniel P., 1994. "Vintage Growth and Population Density: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 333-352, November.
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  10. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
  11. McMillen, Daniel P., 1990. "Consistent estimation of the urban land value function," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 285-293, May.
  12. J F McDonald & D P McMillen, 1990. "Employment subcenters and land values in a polycentric urban area: the case of Chicago," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(12), pages 1561-1574, December.
  13. McDonald, John F. & Bowman, H. Woods, 1979. "Land value functions: A reevaluation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 25-41, January.
  14. Atack, Jeremy & Margo, Robert A, 1998. ""Location, Location, Location!" The Price Gradient for Vacant Urban Land: New York, 1835 to 1900," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 151-72, March.
  15. McMillen, Daniel P. & Jarmin, Ronald & Thorsnes, Paul, 1992. "Selection bias and land development in the monocentric city model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 273-284, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Hornung, Erik, 2012. "Railroads and Micro-regional Growth in Prussia," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 80, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Clapp, John M. & Eichholtz, Piet & Lindenthal, Thies, 2013. "Real option value over a housing market cycle," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 862-874.
  3. Kristoffer Moeller, 2013. "Culturally clustered or in the cloud? Location of internet start-ups in Berlin," ERSA conference papers ersa13p455, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2012. "Driving Up Wages: The Effects of Road Construction in Great Britain," SERC Discussion Papers 0120, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  5. Stephen Gibbons & Teemu Lyytikäinen & Henry Overman & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2012. "New Road Infrastructure: the Effects on Firms," SERC Discussion Papers 0117, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.

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