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The strategic bombing of German cities during World War II and its impact on city growth

  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Marc Schramm

We construct a unique data set in order to analyse whether or not a large temporary shock has an impact on city growth. Following recent work by Davis and Weinstein on Japan, we take the strategic bombing of German cities during World War II as an example of such a shock, and analyse its impact on post-war German city growth. If the war shock has only a temporary impact, then there will be a tendency towards mean reversion. Our main finding is that the bombing had a significant but temporary impact on post-war city growth in Germany as a whole as well as in West Germany separately, but that this is not the case for city growth in East Germany. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 201-218

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:4:y:2004:i:2:p:201-218
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  5. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
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