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Division of labor and the rise of cities: evidence from US industrialization, 1850--1880

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  • Sukkoo Kim

Abstract

Industrial revolution in the USA first took hold in rural New England as factories arose and grew in a handful of industries such as textiles and shoes. However, as factory scale economies rose and factory production techniques were adopted by an ever-growing number of industries, industrialization became concentrated in cities throughout the Northeastern region which came to be known as the manufacturing belt. While it is extremely difficult to rule out other types of agglomeration economies such as spillovers, this paper suggests that these geographic developments associated with industrial revolution in the USA are most consistent with explanations based on division of labor, job search, and matching costs. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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  • Sukkoo Kim, 2006. "Division of labor and the rise of cities: evidence from US industrialization, 1850--1880," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(4), pages 469-491, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:6:y:2006:i:4:p:469-491
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeg/lbl009
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    Cited by:

    1. Crafts, Nicholas & Klein, Alexander, 2015. "Agglomeration Economies and Productivity Growth: U.S. Cities, 1880-1930," CEPR Discussion Papers 10673, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A.M. Ponzetto & Kristina Tobio, 2010. "The Varieties of Regional Change," Working Papers 472, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Dora L. Costa, 2014. "Leaders: Privilege, Sacrifice, Opportunity, and Personnel Economics in the American Civil War," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 437-462.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Kristina Tobio, 2014. "Cities, Skills and Regional Change," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 7-43, January.
    5. Jedwab, Remi & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2015. "Urbanization without growth in historical perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-21.

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