Gibrat's law and the British Industrial Revolution
AbstractThis paper examines Gibrat’s law in England and Wales between 1801 and 1911 using a unique data set covering the entire settlement size distribution. We find that Gibrat’s law broadly holds even in the face of population doubling every fifty years, an industrial and transport trevolution, and the absence of zoning laws to constrain growth. The result is strongest for the later period, and in counties most affected by the industrial revolution. The exception were villages in areas bypassed by the industrial revolution. We argue that agglomeration externalities balanced urban disamenities such as commuting costs and poor living conditions to ensure steady growth of many places, rather than exceptional growth of few.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 1314.
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 764000
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Other versions of this item:
- Alexander Klein & Tim Leunig, 2013. "Gibrat's Law and the British Industrial Revolution," SERC Discussion Papers sercdo0140, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
- N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-09-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-09-06 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-GEO-2013-09-06 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-HIS-2013-09-06 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-URE-2013-09-06 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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