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Railroads And Growth In Prussia

Listed author(s):
  • Erik Hornung

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jeea.12123
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Article provided by European Economic Association in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 13 (2015)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 699-736

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:13:y:2015:i:4:p:699-736
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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
  3. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2011. "The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence From A Historical Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 593-650.
  4. Dave Donaldson & Richard Hornbeck, 2016. "Railroads and American Economic Growth: A "Market Access" Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 799-858.
  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.
  6. Howard Bodenhorn & David Cuberes, 2010. "Financial development and city growth: Evidence from Northeastern American cities, 1790-1870," Working Papers 2010/35, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  7. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
  8. Fremdling, Rainer, 1977. "Railroads and German Economic Growth: A Leading Sector Analysis with a Comparison to the United States and Great Britain," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(03), pages 583-604, September.
  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, 08.
  12. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2004. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 39-83, January.
  13. Fogel, Robert William, 1962. "A Quantitative Approach to the Study of Railroads in American Economic Growth: A Report of Some Preliminary Findings," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 163-197, June.
  14. Florian Ploeckl, 2017. "Towns (and villages): definitions and implications in a historical setting," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 11(2), pages 269-287, May.
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