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Locomotives of Local Growth: The Short- and Long-Term Impact of Railroads in Sweden

  • Berger, Thor

    ()

    (Department of Economic History, Lund University)

  • Enflo, Kerstin

    ()

    (Department of Economic History, Lund University)

This paper studies the impact of railroads on town-level growth in Sweden over 150 years. Our analysis builds on the fact that railroads historically were extended quasi-randomly across towns. Towns that gained access to a rail connection grew larger relative to other towns, with large negative spillovers on unconnected nearby towns. Over the 20th century, we find little adjustment to the initial shock in town populations, despite a sharp reversal in relative connectivity. Evidence on historical investments and present-day factors is consistent with this temporary shock giving rise to path dependence in the location of economic activity.

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Paper provided by Department of Economic History, Lund University in its series Lund Papers in Economic History with number 132.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 14 Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:luekhi:0132
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46 46-222 00 00
Fax: +46 46-13 15 85
Web page: http://www.ekh.lu.se/

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