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Did the Glorious Revolution contribute to the transport revolution? Evidence from investment in roads and rivers

  • DAN BOGART

Transport infrastructure investment increased substantially in Britain between the seventeenth and eighteenth century. This paper argues that the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 contributed to transportation investment by reducing uncertainty about the security of improvement rights. It shows that road and river investment was low in the 1600s when several undertakers had their rights violated by major political changes or decrees from the King. It also shows that investment permanently increased after the Glorious Revolution when there was a lower likelihood that undertakers had their rights voided by acts. Together the evidence suggests that the political and institutional changes following Glorious Revolution made rights to improve infrastructure more secure and that promoters and investors responded to greater security by proposing and financing more projects.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2010.00580.x
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Article provided by Economic History Society in its journal The Economic History Review.

Volume (Year): 64 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1073-1112

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ehsrev:v:64:y:2011:i:4:p:1073-1112
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  1. Pindyck, Robert, 1989. "Irreversibility, uncertainty, and investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 294, The World Bank.
  2. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
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  4. Sussman, Nathan & Yafeh, Yishay, 2006. "Institutional Reforms, Financial Development and Sovereign Debt: Britain 1690 1790," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(04), pages 906-935, December.
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  7. Bogart, Dan, 2005. "Did Turnpike Trusts Increase Transportation Investment in Eighteenth-Century England?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(02), pages 439-468, June.
  8. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
  9. Joel Mokyr & John V. C. Nye, 2007. "Distribution Coalitions, the Industrial Revolution, and the Origins of Economics Growth in Britain," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(1), pages 50-70, July.
  10. Dan Bogart, 2009. "Turnpike trusts and property income: new evidence on the effects of transport improvements and legislation in eighteenth-century England -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(1), pages 128-152, 02.
  11. David M. Newbery, 2002. "Privatization, Restructuring, and Regulation of Network Utilities," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640481, June.
  12. Quinn, Stephen, 2001. "The Glorious Revolution'S Effect On English Private Finance: A Microhistory, 1680 1705," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 593-615, September.
  13. Wells, John & Wills, Dougals, 2000. "Revolution, Restoration, and Debt Repudiation: The Jacobite Threat to England's Institutions and Economic Growth," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(02), pages 418-441, June.
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