IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/qjecon/v127y2012i2p587-644.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Portage and Path Dependence

Author

Listed:
  • Hoyt Bleakley
  • Jeffrey Lin

Abstract

Many cities in North America formed at obstacles to water navigation, where continued transport required overland hauling or portage. Portage sites attracted commerce and supporting services, and places where the falls provided water power attracted manufacturing during early industrialization. We examine portage sites in the U.S. South, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, including those on the fall line, a geomorphological feature in the southeastern United States marking the final rapids on rivers before the ocean. Although their original advantages have long since become obsolete, we document the continuing importance of historical portage sites. We interpret these results as path dependence and contrast explanations based on sunk costs interacting with decreasing versus increasing returns to scale. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2012. "Portage and Path Dependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 587-644.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:587-644
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjs011
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. "The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
    2. James E. Rauch, 1993. "Does History Matter Only When It Matters Little? The Case of City-Industry Location," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 843-867.
    3. Thomas J. Holmes & Sanghoon Lee, 2012. "Economies of Density versus Natural Advantage: Crop Choice on the Back Forty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 1-19, February.
    4. Bester, C. Alan & Conley, Timothy G. & Hansen, Christian B., 2011. "Inference with dependent data using cluster covariance estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 165(2), pages 137-151.
    5. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ferdinand Rauch & Guy Michaels, 2013. "Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012," Economics Series Working Papers 684, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Alfred Garloff & Carsten Pohl & Norbert Schanne, 2013. "Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(15), pages 379-406.
    3. Hidalgo, Javier & Schafgans, Marcia, 2017. "Inference and testing breaks in large dynamic panels with strong cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 196(2), pages 259-274.
    4. Sanghoon Lee & Jeffrey Lin, 2018. "Natural Amenities, Neighbourhood Dynamics, and Persistence in the Spatial Distribution of Income," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(1), pages 663-694.
    5. Desmet, Klaus & Rappaport, Jordan, 2017. "The settlement of the United States, 1800–2000: The long transition towards Gibrat’s law," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 50-68.
    6. Sun, Yu & Yan, Karen X., 2019. "Inference on Difference-in-Differences average treatment effects: A fixed-b approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 211(2), pages 560-588.
    7. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew T. Young, 2003. "Growth and Convergence across the US: Evidence from County-Level Data," Working Papers 2003-03, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    8. Partridge, Mark D. & Rickman, Dan S. & Ali, Kamar & Olfert, M. Rose, 2010. "Recent spatial growth dynamics in wages and housing costs: Proximity to urban production externalities and consumer amenities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 440-452, November.
    9. Gupta, Abhimanyu, 2018. "Autoregressive spatial spectral estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 203(1), pages 80-95.
    10. Jung, Yeonha, 2020. "The long reach of cotton in the US South: Tenant farming, mechanization, and low-skill manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    11. Frank Davenport, 2017. "Estimating standard errors in spatial panel models with time varying spatial correlation," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96, pages 155-177, March.
    12. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
    13. Guy Michaels & Dzhamilya Nigmatulina & Ferdinand Rauch & Tanner Regan & Neeraj Baruah & Amanda Dahlstrand, 2021. "Planning Ahead for Better Neighborhoods: Long-Run Evidence from Tanzania," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(7), pages 2112-2156.
    14. Rappaport, Jordan, 2007. "Moving to nice weather," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 375-398, May.
    15. Nafisa Halim & Kathryn Yount & Solveig Cunningham & Rohini Pande, 2016. "Women’s Political Empowerment and Investments in Primary Schooling in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 813-851, February.
    16. repec:esx:essedp:729 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Margherita Comola & Marcel Fafchamps, 2014. "Testing Unilateral and Bilateral Link Formation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(579), pages 954-976, September.
    18. Nafisa Halim & Kathryn M. Yount & Solveig A. Cunningham & Rohini P. Pande, 2016. "Women’s Political Empowerment and Investments in Primary Schooling in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 813-851, February.
    19. Edward L. Glaeser & Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2015. "Entrepreneurship and Urban Growth: An Empirical Assessment with Historical Mines," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 498-520, May.
    20. Gibbons, Steve & Overman, Henry G. & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2015. "Spatial Methods," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 115-168, Elsevier.
    21. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Tosetti, Elisa, 2011. "Large panels with common factors and spatial correlation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 182-202, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:587-644. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press or Christopher F. Baum (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.