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History and Urban Economics

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  • Hanlon, William Walker
  • Heblich, Stephan

Abstract

This article reviews recent literature using insights from history to answer central questions in urban economics. This area of research has seen rapid growth in the past decade, thanks to new technologies that have made available increasingly rich data stretching far back in time. The focus is to review innovative methods to exploit historical information and discuss applications of these data that provide new insights into (i) the long run growth of cities or regional economies and (ii) the spatial organization of economic activities within cities. The review also surveys the growing literature outside urban economics that uses the historical urbanization as a proxy for economic growth, discusses differences between how economic historians and urban economists think about the relationship between urbanization and growth, and considers how these views might be reconciled.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanlon, William Walker & Heblich, Stephan, 2020. "History and Urban Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 15303, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15303
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    4. Nagy, Dávid Krisztián, 2022. "Quantitative economic geography meets history: Questions, answers and challenges," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    5. David Krisztián Nagy, 2020. "Quantitative economic geography meets history: Questions, answers and challenges," Economics Working Papers 1774, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2021.
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    Keywords

    economic history; growth; Review; Urban Economics; Urbanization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General

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