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Fifty years of urban accessibility: The impact of the urban railway network on the land gradient in Berlin 1890-1936

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  • Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M.
  • Wendland, Nicolai

Abstract

As the first to use an archival data set on historical land values in Berlin, Germany, from 1890 to 1936, we investigate the impact of the rapid transport system on urban decentralization, using comparative statics of classical rent theory as a benchmark. We find that the monocentric model performs well over the entire period studied, revealing gradients that - although diminishing over time - turn out to be relatively steep in international comparison. Travel time to CBD measures incorporating the rapid transport network, however, clearly outperform traditional distance to CBD measures in terms of explanatory power. The evolution of the rapid transit network, and the subsequent changes in travel times to the CBD, explain almost three quarter of the overall trend in decentralization. Endogeneity concerns are addressed in an IV framework using a counterfactual transport network as an instrument.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Wendland, Nicolai, 2011. "Fifty years of urban accessibility: The impact of the urban railway network on the land gradient in Berlin 1890-1936," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 77-88, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:41:y:2011:i:2:p:77-88
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    1. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Wendland, Nicolai, 2009. "Looming stations: Valuing transport innovations in historical context," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 97-99, October.
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    12. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Gibbons & Teemu Lyytikäinen & Henry Overman & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2012. "New Road Infrastructure: the Effects on Firms," SERC Discussion Papers 0117, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    2. Konstantin A. Kholodilin, 2015. "War, Housing Rents, and Free Market: A Case of Berlin's Rental Housing Market during the World War I," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1477, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Miles, David K & Sefton, James, 2017. "Houses across time and across place," CEPR Discussion Papers 12103, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. repec:eee:regeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:198-212 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:oup:ereveh:v:20:y:2016:i:3:p:322-344. is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kristoffer Moeller, 2013. "Culturally clustered or in the cloud? Location of internet start-ups in Berlin," ERSA conference papers ersa13p455, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Mitra, Suman K. & Saphores, Jean-Daniel M., 2016. "The value of transportation accessibility in a least developed country city – The case of Rajshahi City, Bangladesh," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 184-200.
    8. Nicolai Wendland, 2015. "All access: a micro-level case study on the secondary center of Berlin (1871–1936)," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(2), pages 375-399, March.
    9. Gonzalez-Navarro, Marco & Turner, Matthew A., 2016. "Subways and urban growth: evidence from earth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66535, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Taisuke Sadayuki, 2017. "Measuring the spatial effect of multiple sites," RIEEM Discussion Paper Series 1703, Research Institute for Environmental Economics and Management, Waseda University.
    11. Claudia N. Berg & Uwe Deichmann & Yishen Liu & Harris Selod, 2017. "Transport Policies and Development," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(4), pages 465-480, April.
    12. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2012. "Driving Up Wages: The Effects of Road Construction in Great Britain," SERC Discussion Papers 0120, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    13. McMillen, Daniel, 2015. "Conditionally parametric quantile regression for spatial data: An analysis of land values in early nineteenth century Chicago," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 28-38.
    14. Hornung, Erik, 2012. "Railroads and Micro-regional Growth in Prussia," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 80, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    15. repec:zbw:espost:167600 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Zhonghao Zhang & Yaojen Tu & Xin Li, 2016. "Quantifying the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Urbanization along Urban-Rural Gradient with a Roadscape Transect Approach: A Case Study in Shanghai, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-19, August.
    17. Clapp, John M. & Eichholtz, Piet & Lindenthal, Thies, 2013. "Real option value over a housing market cycle," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 862-874.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transport innovations Land values Location productivity Economic history Berlin;

    JEL classification:

    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • R33 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Nonagricultural and Nonresidential Real Estate Markets

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