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Paving the way to modernity: Prussian roads and grain market integration in Westphalia, 1821-1855

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  • Martin Uebele
  • Daniel Gallardo-Albarr�n

Abstract

This study investigates the relation of pre-railroad transport infrastructure on Westphalian grain market integration in the early nineteenth century. It is motivated by recently found indications of macroeconomic change in Prussia such as increased demand for labour, disappearance of positive Malthusian shocks and grain market integration. These coincide and correspond well with a number of institutional breaks such as border changes and state creation after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, liberal political reforms such as the abandoning of corporatist regulations in Prussia and substantial public investment in paved roads in a number of Prussian provinces. In this study, we show that (1) paved road connections mattered economically and statistically for bilateral rye and wheat price differences, (2) the usual dummy-variable approach to measure the effect of transport infrastructures proves to be unreliable and we propose a new indicator that takes into account the effects of the transport network, (3) the role of the early railroad connections is not robust. In this pilot study, we for the first time establish the correlation between economic development and pre-railroad transport infrastructure for a Prussian province, and thus call for more research on the causes of macroeconomic change in early nineteenth century Prussia.

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  • Martin Uebele & Daniel Gallardo-Albarr�n, 2015. "Paving the way to modernity: Prussian roads and grain market integration in Westphalia, 1821-1855," Scandinavian Economic History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(1), pages 69-92, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:sehrxx:v:63:y:2015:i:1:p:69-92
    DOI: 10.1080/03585522.2014.949840
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    Cited by:

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    2. John E. Murray & Javier Silvestre, 2020. "Integration in European coal markets, 1833–1913," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(3), pages 668-702, August.
    3. Ulrich Pfister & Georg Fertig, 2020. "From Malthusian Disequilibrium to the Post-Malthusian Era: The Evolution of the Preventive and Positive Checks in Germany, 1730–1870," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(3), pages 1145-1170, June.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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