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How Did the Location of Industry Respond to Falling Transport Costs in Britain Before World War I?

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  • CRAFTS, NICHOLAS
  • MULATU, ABAY

Abstract

This article explores the location of industry in pre–World War I Britain using a model that takes account both of factor endowment and also of New Economic Geography influences. Broadly speaking, the pattern of industrial location in this period was quite persistent and regional specialization changed little. The econometric results show that factor endowments had much stronger effects than proximity to markets, although the latter was an attraction for industries with large plant size. Overall, falling transport costs had relatively little effect on industrial location at a time when proximity to natural resources, notably coal, mattered most.

Suggested Citation

  • Crafts, Nicholas & Mulatu, Abay, 2006. "How Did the Location of Industry Respond to Falling Transport Costs in Britain Before World War I?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 575-607, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:66:y:2006:i:03:p:575-607_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Crafts, 2004. "Steam as a general purpose technology: A growth accounting perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 338-351, April.
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    4. Kim, Sukkoo, 1999. "Regions, resources, and economic geography: Sources of U.S. regional comparative advantage, 1880-1987," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-32, January.
    5. Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 341-359, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • L91 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Transportation: General
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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