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The U.S. Westward Expansion

  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke

The U.S. economic development in the 19th century was characterized by the westward movement of population and the accumulation of productive land in the West. This article presents a model of migration and land improvement to identify the quantitatively important forces driving these phenomena. The conclusion is that the decrease in transportation costs induced the westward migration, whereas population growth was responsible for the investment in productive land. Copyright 2008 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 81-110

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:49:y:2008:i:1:p:81-110
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  1. Eckstein, Zvi & Stern, Steven & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1988. "Fertility Choice, Land, and the Malthusian Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 353-61, May.
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  7. repec:fth:simfra:95-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. David Andolfatto & Glenn M. MacDonald, 1998. "Technology Diffusion and Aggregate Dynamics," Working Papers 98005, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 1998.
  9. Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "The economic foundations of East-West migration during the 19th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 14-36, January.
  10. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The baby boom and baby bust: some macroeconomics for population economics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  11. Robert E. Gallman, 1986. "The United States Capital Stock in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth, pages 165-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Primack, Martin L., 1962. "Land Clearing Under Nineteenth-Century Techniques: Some Preliminary Calculations," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(04), pages 484-497, December.
  13. Primack, Martin L., 1969. "Farm Fencing in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 287-291, June.
  14. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 1, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  15. Michael R. Haines, 1994. "The Population of the United States, 1790-1920," NBER Historical Working Papers 0056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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