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The strategic bombing of German cities during World War II and its impact on city growth

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Author Info

  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Marc Schramm

Abstract

We construct a unique data set in order to analyse whether or not a large temporary shock has an impact on city growth. Following recent work by Davis and Weinstein on Japan, we take the strategic bombing of German cities during World War II as an example of such a shock, and analyse its impact on post-war German city growth. If the war shock has only a temporary impact, then there will be a tendency towards mean reversion. Our main finding is that the bombing had a significant but temporary impact on post-war city growth in Germany as a whole as well as in West Germany separately, but that this is not the case for city growth in East Germany. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 201-218

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:4:y:2004:i:2:p:201-218

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  1. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
  5. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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