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City seeds. Geography and the origins of the European city system

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  • Bosker, Maarten
  • Buringh, Eltjo

Abstract

Geography is widely viewed as the important determinant of city location. This paper empirically disentangles the different roles of geography in shaping the European city system. We present a new database that covers all actual cities as well as potential city locations over the period when the foundations for the European city system were laid. We relate each location’s urban chances to its physical, first nature, geography characteristics, and develop a novel empirical strategy to assess how the existing urban system surrounding each location (second nature geography) determines its urban prospects. First nature geography is the dominant determinant of city location until the sixteenth century. Second nature geography becomes important from the seventeenth century onwards, in a way that corresponds closely to predictions from new economic geography theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8066.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8066

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Related research

Keywords: city origins; economic geography; Europe;

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References

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  1. Yannis Ioannides & Henry G. Overman, 2000. "Spatial evolution of the US urban system," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20138, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & De Jong, Herman & Schramm, Marc, 2008. "Ports, plagues and politics: explaining Italian city growth 1300–1861," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 97-131, April.
  3. Fernández-Val, Iván, 2009. "Fixed effects estimation of structural parameters and marginal effects in panel probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 71-85, May.
  4. Gilles Duranton & Henry G. Overman, 2005. "Testing for Localization Using Micro-Geographic Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1077-1106.
  5. Oded Galor, 2005. "Unified Growth Theory," Development and Comp Systems 0504001, EconWPA.
  6. Fujita, Masahisa & Mori, Tomoya, 1996. "The role of ports in the making of major cities: Self-agglomeration and hub-effect," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 93-120, April.
  7. Greif, Avner, 1992. "Institutions and International Trade: Lessons from the Commercial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 128-33, May.
  8. Carro, Jesus M., 2007. "Estimating dynamic panel data discrete choice models with fixed effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 503-528, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Kristian GIESEN & Jens SÜDEKUM, 2012. "The French Overall City Size Distribution," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 36, pages 107-126.
  2. Michaels, Guy & Rauch, Ferdinand, 2013. "Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012," CEPR Discussion Papers 9760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kopsidis, Michael & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2012. "Agricultural Productivity Across Prussia During the Industrial Revolution: A Thünen Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 634-670, September.

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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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