The U.S. Westward Expansion
Some facts characterizing the U.S. economic development in the 19th century are: (i) the westward movement of population; (ii) the accumulation of productive land; and (iii) the wage gap in favor of the West. An overlapping-generations model is developed, to account for these facts. The model's novelty is the presence of a fixed amount of land, initially unsuitable for production, but that can be improved. Historical evidence on productivity in land-improvement activities is used to calibrate the model's parameters. The model accounts for the regional distribution of population and the path of the stock of developed land. The main factor driving the Westward Expansion is population growth. International immigration is found to contribute little to the opening of the West.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Easterlin, Richard A., 1976. "Population Change and Farm Settlement in the Northern United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 45-75, March.
- Prescott, Edward C., 1986.
"Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
- Robert E. Gallman, 1992. "American Economic Growth before the Civil War: The Testimony of the Capital Stock Estimates," NBER Chapters, in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 79-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Andolfatto & Glenn M. MacDonald, 1998.
"Technology Diffusion and Aggregate Dynamics,"
Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers
58, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
- Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The baby boom and baby bust: some macroeconomics for population economics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
- Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005.
"The Baby Boom and Baby Bust,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 183-207, March.
- Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "The economic foundations of East-West migration during the 19th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 14-36, January.
- Andolfatto, D. & MacDonald, G.M., 1995.
"Technological Innovation, Diffusion, and Business Cycle Dynamics,"
9503, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
- Primack, Martin L., 1962. "Land Clearing Under Nineteenth-Century Techniques: Some Preliminary Calculations," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(04), pages 484-497, December.
- Robert E. Gallman, 1986. "The United States Capital Stock in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth, pages 165-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eckstein, Zvi & Stern, Steven & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1988. "Fertility Choice, Land, and the Malthusian Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 353-61, May.
- Primack, Martin L., 1969. "Farm Fencing in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 287-291, June.
- Hercowitz, Zvi & Pines, David, 1997.
"Migration between home country and diaspora: An economic analysis,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 45-59, July.
- Hercowitz, Z. & Pines, D., 1989. "Migration Between Home Country And Diaspora: An Economic Analysis," RCER Working Papers 180, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- repec:fth:simfra:95-08 is not listed on IDEAS
- Michael R. Haines, 1994. "The Population of the United States, 1790-1920," NBER Historical Working Papers 0056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:4. 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: (Jeremy Greenwood)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.