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Railroads, engineers, and the developement of spatial economics in France


  • Robert B. EKELUND JR.

    (Auburn University, USA)

  • Robert F. HÉBERT

    (Auburn University, USA)


This articles traces a little-known French tradition in spatial economics that was advanced by state engineers who were trained at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées and worked for the State Corps engineers. Spurred in part by changes in power technology, especially the advent of the railroad, these engineers pioneered the spatial aspects of competition in a macroeconomic framework. The contribution of Jules Dupuit (1804 - 1866) and Emile Cheysson (1836 - 1910) are especially singled out for analysis, and are shown to have anticipated later important developments in spatial economic theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert B. EKELUND JR. & Robert F. HÉBERT, 1998. "Railroads, engineers, and the developement of spatial economics in France," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1998013, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:1998013

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    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913


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