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Railroads And Growth In Prussia

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  • Erik Hornung

Abstract

We study the effect of railroad access on urban population growth. Using GIS techniques, we match triennial population data for roughly 1,000 cities in 19th-century Prussia to georeferenced maps of the German railroad network. We find positive short- and long-term effects of having a station on urban growth for different periods during 1840–1871. Causal effects of (potentially endogenous) railroad access on city growth are identified using propensity score matching, instrumental variables, and fixed-effects estimation techniques. Our instrument identifies exogenous variation in railroad access by constructing straight-line corridors between nodes. Counterfactual models using pre-railroad growth yield no evidence to support the hypothesis that railroads appeared as a consequence of a previous growth spurt.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Hornung, 2015. "Railroads And Growth In Prussia," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 699-736, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:13:y:2015:i:4:p:699-736
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jeea.12123
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 135-152.
    2. repec:spr:cliomt:v:11:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0145-6 is not listed on IDEAS
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    5. Guy Michaels, 2008. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill: Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 683-701, November.
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    9. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2014. "iPEHD--The ifo Prussian Economic History Database," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 57-66, June.
    10. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
    11. Davide Cantoni, 2015. "The Economic Effects Of The Protestant Reformation: Testing The Weber Hypothesis In The German Lands," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 561-598, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 135-152.
    2. Eyal Apatov & Nathan Chappell & Arthur Grimes, 2018. "Is internet on the right track? The digital divide, path dependence, and the rollout of New Zealand’s ultra-fast broadband," Working Papers 18_04, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    3. Pfeifer, Gregor & Wahl, Fabian & Marczak, Martyna, 2016. "Illuminating the world cup effect: Night lights evidence from South Africa," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 16-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Hanedar, Avni Önder, 2013. "Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Growth in a Dissolving Country: (Ir)relevance of Railroads in the Ottoman Empire," MPRA Paper 77974, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Apr 2017.
    5. Stephan Fretz & Raphaël Parchet & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2017. "Highways, Market Access and Spatial Sorting," SERC Discussion Papers 0227, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    6. Wahl, Fabian, 2015. "The long shadow of history: Roman legacy and economic development - evidence from the German limes," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 08-2015, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    7. Zhang, Yi & Matz, Julia Anna, 2017. "On the train to brain gain in rural China," Discussion Papers 252443, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    8. Berger, Thor & Enflo, Kerstin, 2017. "Locomotives of local growth: The short- and long-term impact of railroads in Sweden," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 124-138.
    9. Holl, Adelheid, 2016. "Highways and productivity in manufacturing firms," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 131-151.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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