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Municipal Technological Change in the 19th Century: The Diffusion of Steam-Powered Fire-Fighting Equipment

Author

Listed:
  • Burton A. Abrams

    () (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

  • Evangelos M. Falaris

    () (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

  • James G. Mulligan

    () (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)

Abstract

We provide the first empirical analysis of the diffusion pattern of the most important innovation in firefighting equipment during the latter half of the nineteenth century: steam powered water pumpers. We offer the first systematic empirical support for the hypothesis that local businesses influenced the timing of the initial adoption of this technology in order to facilitate a change from mostly autonomous volunteer firefighting organizations to a more professional and centralized municipal department.

Suggested Citation

  • Burton A. Abrams & Evangelos M. Falaris & James G. Mulligan, 2015. "Municipal Technological Change in the 19th Century: The Diffusion of Steam-Powered Fire-Fighting Equipment," Working Papers 15-09, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:15-09
    as

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    File URL: http://www.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2015/UDWP2015-09.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brueckner, Jan K., 1981. "Congested public goods: The case of fire protection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 45-58, February.
    2. Rogers Ahlbrandt, 1973. "Efficiency in the provision of fire services," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-15, September.
    3. Das Nilotpal & Falaris Evangelos M & Mulligan James G, 2009. "Vintage Effects and the Diffusion of Time-Saving Technological Innovations," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, June.
    4. Duncombe, William D, 1992. "Costs and Factor Substitution in the Provision of Local Fire Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 180-184, February.
    5. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 1993. "An analysis of returns to scale in public production, with an application to fire protection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 49-72, August.
    6. Holcombe, Randall G. & Lacombe, Donald J., 2001. "The Growth Of Local Government In The United States From 1820 To 1870," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(01), pages 184-189, March.
    7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 265-286.
    8. James G. Mulligan & Nilotpal Das, 2005. "Persistent Adoption of Time-Saving Process Innovations," Working Papers 05-03, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technological Change; Diffusion; Urban Economic History; Firefighting Technology;

    JEL classification:

    • N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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