How did the location of industry respond to falling transport costs in Britain before World War 1?
This paper explores the location of industry in pre-World-War-I Britain using a model that takes account both of factor endowment and also of new economic geography influences. Broadly speaking, the pattern of industrial location in this period was quite persistent and regional specialization changed little. The econometric results show that factor endowments had much stronger effects than proximity to markets, although the latter was an attraction for industries with large plant size. Overall, falling transport costs had relatively little effect on industrial location at a time when proximity to natural resources, notably coal, mattered most.
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