IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehs/wpaper/18008.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Build it and they will come? Secondary railways and population density in French Algeria

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Maravall Buckwalter

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

"By the end of the 19th century, the Algerian railway network played a crucial role as an instrument for settlement expansion and colonial control. A growing amount of research shows that railway expansion at this time allowed previously marginalized regions to participate in international trade and thereby boosting growth. Yet few studies point out that it also increased marginalization and reinforced dual economies in areas that did not experience access to the infrastructure or that did not have the required economies to profit from and engage in international markets. This paper looks into the effect of gaining railroad access on the indigenous and settler population density in French Algeria during this period. By taking advantage of unique territorial population data at a sub-municipal level and digitized historical colonization maps in the Constantine region, it measures the effect of gaining railway access in relatively isolated areas – areas in which the infrastructure arrived later – using a differences- in-differences methodology. Results show that the indigenous population responded positively to railroad infrastructure only in those regions where settlers were already located while the settler density did not respond to the infrastructure. To provide an explanation, it then analyzes freight and passenger transport at a more detailed level. In line with literature on Algerian railways, the results suggest that the potential gains were restricted by tariffs, which mirrored Constantine’s difficulty to engage in scale economies due to geographical restrictions, such as the limited fertile land and the vulnerability of agricultural production to climate."

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Maravall Buckwalter, 2018. "Build it and they will come? Secondary railways and population density in French Algeria," Working Papers 18008, Economic History Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehs:wpaper:18008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ehs.org.uk/dotAsset/84ba1149-9b95-4b72-aeeb-b5542d3a8a76.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tang, John P., 2014. "Railroad Expansion and Industrialization: Evidence from Meiji Japan," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 863-886, September.
    2. Redding, Stephen J. & Turner, Matthew A., 2015. "Transportation Costs and the Spatial Organization of Economic Activity," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1339-1398, Elsevier.
    3. Remi Jedwab & Edward Kerby & Alexander Moradi, 2017. "History, Path Dependence and Development: Evidence from Colonial Railways, Settlers and Cities in Kenya," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1467-1494, August.
    4. Remi Jedwab & Alexander Moradi, 2016. "The Permanent Effects of Transportation Revolutions in Poor Countries: Evidence from Africa," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 268-284, May.
    5. Johan Fourie and Alfonso Herranz-Loncan & Alfonso Herranz-Loncan, 2015. "Growth (and Segregation) by Rail: How the Railways Shaped Colonial South Africa," Working Papers 538, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    6. Dan Bogart & Latika Chaudhary & Alfonso Herranz-Loncan, 2015. "The Growth Contribution of Colonial Indian Railways in Comparative Perspective," CEH Discussion Papers 033, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    7. Atack, Jeremy & Margo, Robert, 2011. "The Impact of Access to Rail Transportation on Agricultural Improvement: The American Midwest as a Test Case, 1850-1860," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 4(2), pages 5-18.
    8. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Qian, Nancy, 2020. "On the road: Access to transportation infrastructure and economic growth in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    9. Alfonso Herranz-Loncán & Johan Fourie, 2018. "“For the public benefit”? Railways in the British Cape Colony," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 73-100.
    10. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2012. "Output Per Head In Pre-Independence Africa: Quantitative Conjectures," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(2), pages 1-36, December.
    11. Bertazzini, Mattia C., 2018. "The long-term impact of Italian colonial roads in the Horn of Africa, 1935-2000," Economic History Working Papers 87074, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    12. Donaldson, Dave, 2010. "Railroads of the Raj: estimating the impact of transportation infrastructure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 38368, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Dave Donaldson, 2010. "Railroads of the Raj: Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 16487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Fogel, Robert William, 1979. "Notes on the Social Saving Controversy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 1-54, March.
    15. Erik Hornung, 2012. "Railroads and Micro-regional Growth in Prussia," ifo Working Paper Series 127, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    16. Coatsworth, John H., 1979. "Indispensable Railroads in a Backward Economy: The Case of Mexico," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 939-960, December.
    17. Berger, Thor & Enflo, Kerstin, 2017. "Locomotives of local growth: The short- and long-term impact of railroads in Sweden," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 124-138.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Suchi Kapoor Malhotra & Howard White & Nina Ashley O. Dela Cruz & Ashrita Saran & John Eyers & Denny John & Ella Beveridge & Nina Blöndal, 2021. "Studies of the effectiveness of transport sector interventions in low‐ and middle‐income countries: An evidence and gap map," Campbell Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 17(4), December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Maravall Buckwalter, Laura, 2018. "Build It, and They Will Come? Secondary Railways and Population Density in French Algeria," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 26738, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    2. Berger, Thor, 2019. "Railroads and Rural Industrialization: evidence from a Historical Policy Experiment," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    3. Berger, Thor & Enflo, Kerstin, 2017. "Locomotives of local growth: The short- and long-term impact of railroads in Sweden," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 124-138.
    4. Pushkar Maitra & William Yu, 2021. "The Long Shadow of Infrastructure Development: Long Run Effects of Railway Construction in Colonial India," Monash Economics Working Papers 2021-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    5. Avni Önder Hanedar & Sezgin Uysal, 2020. "Transportation infrastructure and economic growth in a dissolving country: (Ir)relevance of railroads in the Ottoman Empire," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 195-215, September.
    6. Rui Manuel Pereira, Alfredo Marvao Pereira and William J. Hausman, 2017. "Railroad Infrastructure Investments and Economic Development in the Antebellum United States," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 1-16, September.
    7. Braun, Sebastian Till & Franke, Richard, 2019. "Railways, Growth, and Industrialisation in a Developing German Economy, 1829-1910," MPRA Paper 93644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Yang, Xiaolan & Wang, Rui & Guo, Dongmei & Sun, Weizeng, 2020. "The reconfiguration effect of China's high-speed railway on intercity connection ——A study based on media attention index," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 47-56.
    9. Camilo Umana Dajud, 2017. "Domestic transport costs, Canada, and the Panama Canal," Working Papers 2017-02, CEPII research center.
    10. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata & Wei, Jinlin, 2021. "Railways and cities in India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1349, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    11. Emran,M. Shahe & Shilpi,Forhad J. & Coulombe,Harold & Blankespoor,Brian, 2019. "Temporary Trade Shocks, Spatial Reallocation, and Persistence in Developing Countries : Evidence from a Natural Experiment in West Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8962, The World Bank.
    12. Gibbons, Stephen & Lyytikäinen, Teemu & Overman, Henry G. & Sanchis-Guarner, Rosa, 2019. "New road infrastructure: The effects on firms," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 35-50.
    13. Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López & Alfonso Herranz-Loncán & Filippo Tassinari & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2021. "Paving the way to modern growth. Evidence from Bourbon roads in Spain," Working Papers 0209, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    14. Stephan Fretz & Raphaël Parchet & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2022. "Highways, Market Access and Spatial Sorting [‘From periphery to core: Measuring agglomeration effects using high-speed rail’]," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(643), pages 1011-1036.
    15. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata & Wei, Jinlin, 2021. "Railways and cities in India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1349, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    16. Okoye, Dozie & Pongou, Roland & Yokossi, Tite, 2019. "New technology, better economy? The heterogeneous impact of colonial railroads in Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 320-354.
    17. Muvawala, Joseph & Sebukeera, Hennery & Ssebulime, Kurayish, 2021. "Socio-economic impacts of transport infrastructure investment in Uganda: Insight from frontloading expenditure on Uganda's urban roads and highways," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    18. Alfonso Herranz-Loncán & Johan Fourie, 2018. "“For the public benefit”? Railways in the British Cape Colony," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 73-100.
    19. Junichi Yamasaki, 2017. "Railroads, Technology Adoption, and Modern Economic Development: Evidence from Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 1000, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    20. Okamoto, Chigusa & Sato, Yasuhiro, 2021. "Impacts of high-speed rail construction on land prices in urban agglomerations: Evidence from Kyushu in Japan," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehs:wpaper:18008. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ehsukea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Chair Public Engagement Committe (currently David Higgins - Newcastle) (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ehsukea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.