IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/luekhi/0132.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Berger, Thor & Enflo, Kerstin, 2014. "Locomotives of Local Growth: The Short- and Long-Term Impact of Railroads in Sweden," Lund Papers in Economic History 132, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:luekhi:0132
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ekh.lu.se/media/ekh/forskning/lund_papers_in_economic_history/132.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard K. Crump & V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Oscar A. Mitnik, 2009. "Dealing with limited overlap in estimation of average treatment effects," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 96(1), pages 187-199.
    2. Patrick Kline & Enrico Moretti, 2014. "People, Places, and Public Policy: Some Simple Welfare Economics of Local Economic Development Programs," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 629-662, August.
    3. Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2011. "History and Industry Location: Evidence from German Airports," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 814-831, August.
    4. Erik Hornung, 2015. "Railroads And Growth In Prussia," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 699-736, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Williamson Jeffrey G., 1995. "The Evolution of Global Labor Markets since 1830: Background Evidence and Hypotheses," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 141-196, April.
    7. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2015. "The Economics of Density: Evidence From the Berlin Wall," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2127-2189, November.
    8. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1995. "Open economy forces and late 19th century Scandinavian catch-up," Working Papers 199506, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    9. Richard Hornbeck & Daniel Keniston, 2017. "Creative Destruction: Barriers to Urban Growth and the Great Boston Fire of 1872," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1365-1398, June.
    10. Taryn Dinkelman, 2011. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Employment: New Evidence from South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3078-3108, December.
    11. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Marc Schramm, 2004. "The strategic bombing of German cities during World War II and its impact on city growth," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 201-218, April.
    12. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:275-331 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jeremy Atack & Michael R. Haines & Robert A. Margo, 2008. "Railroads and the Rise of the Factory: Evidence for the United States, 1850-70," NBER Working Papers 14410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2004. "Micro-foundations of urban agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 48, pages 2063-2117, Elsevier.
    16. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey Lin, 2012. "Portage and Path Dependence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 587-644.
    17. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "A Search For Multiple Equilibria In Urban Industrial Structure," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 29-65, February.
    18. Hornung, Erik, 2012. "Railroads and Micro-regional Growth in Prussia," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 80, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    19. Molly Lipscomb & A. Mushfiq Mobarak & Tania Barham, 2013. "Development Effects of Electrification: Evidence from the Topographic Placement of Hydropower Plants in Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 200-231, April.
    20. Wolfgang Keller & Carol H. Shiue, 2008. "Institutions, Technology, and Trade," NBER Working Papers 13913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Enflo, Kerstin & Lundh, Christer & Prado, Svante, 2014. "The role of migration in regional wage convergence: Evidence from Sweden 1860–1940," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 93-110.
    22. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
    23. Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Michael Haines & Robert A. Margo, 2009. "Did Railroads Induce or Follow Economic Growth? Urbanization and Population Growth in the American Midwest, 1850-60," NBER Working Papers 14640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2012. "Urban Growth and Transportation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1407-1440.
    25. 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.
    26. 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).
    27. Guy Michaels, 2008. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill: Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 683-701, November.
    28. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    29. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    30. Enrico Moretti, 2014. "Local Economic Development, Agglomeration Economies, and the Big Push: 100 Years of Evidence from the Tennessee Valley Authority," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 275-331.
    31. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-1026, October.
    32. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    33. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
    34. Miguel, Edward & Roland, Gérard, 2011. "The long-run impact of bombing Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-15, September.
    35. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    36. Sandberg, Lars G., 1979. "The Case of the Impoverished Sophisticate: Human Capital and Swedish Economic Growth before World War I," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 225-241, March.
    37. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Bones, Bombs, and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1269-1289, December.
    38. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171, Elsevier.
    39. Leunig, Timothy, 2006. "Time is Money: A Re-Assessment of the Passenger Social Savings from Victorian British Railways," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 635-673, September.
    40. Michael R. Haines & Robert A. Margo, 2006. "Railroads and Local Economic Development: The United States in the 1850s," NBER Working Papers 12381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Herranz-Loncán, Alfonso, 2006. "Railroad Impact in Backward Economies: Spain, 1850–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 853-881, December.
    42. Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2007. "Looking for multiple equilibria when geography matters: German city growth and the WWII shock," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 152-169, January.
    43. 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.
    44. Rémi Jedwab & Alexandre Moradi, 2011. "Transportation Infrastructure and Development in Ghana," PSE Working Papers halshs-00607207, HAL.
    45. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 155-253.
    46. World Bank, 2009. "Geography in Motion: World Development Report 2009 (excerpt)," Transnational Corporations Review, Ottawa United Learning Academy, vol. 1(3), pages 40-46, September.
    47. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
    48. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
    49. Bogart, Dan & Chaudhary, Latika, 2013. "Engines of Growth: The Productivity Advance of Indian Railways, 1874–1912," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 339-370, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Breinlich, Holger & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2014. "Regional Growth and Regional Decline," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 683-779, Elsevier.
    2. Berger, Thor, 2019. "Railroads and Rural Industrialization: evidence from a Historical Policy Experiment," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    3. Testa, Patrick A., 2021. "Shocks and the spatial distribution of economic activity: The role of institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 791-810.
    4. Kakpo, Eliakim & Le Gallo, Julie & Grivault, Camille & Breuillé, Marie, 2019. "Does railway accessibility boost population growth? Evidence from unfinished historical roadways in France," MPRA Paper 96743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:esx:essedp:729 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2015. "The Economics of Density: Evidence From the Berlin Wall," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2127-2189, November.
    7. Stephen J. Redding & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2017. "Quantitative Spatial Economics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 21-58, September.
    8. Dave Donaldson & Richard Hornbeck, 2016. "Railroads and American Economic Growth: A "Market Access" Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 799-858.
    9. 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.
    10. Shenoy, Ajay, 2018. "Regional development through place-based policies: Evidence from a spatial discontinuity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 173-189.
    11. Ager, Philipp & Hansen, Casper Worm & Lønstrup, Lars, 2018. "Shaking Up the Equilibrium: Natural Disasters, Economic Activity, and Immigration," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 2/2018, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    12. Siodla, James, 2017. "Clean slate: Land-use changes in San Francisco after the 1906 disaster," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1-16.
    13. Seiffert, Sebastian, 2019. "Go east: On the impact of the Transiberian Railway on economic development in Eastern Russia," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 02-2019, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    14. Siodla, James, 2021. "Firms, fires, and firebreaks: The impact of the 1906 San Francisco disaster on business agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    15. Andreas Eberhard-Ruiz & Alexander Moradi, 2018. "Regional Market Integration and City Growth in East Africa: Local but no Regional Effects?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2018-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    16. Stephen J. Redding, 2010. "The Empirics Of New Economic Geography," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 297-311, February.
    17. Christian Ochsner, 2017. "Dismantled once, diverged forever? A quasi-natural experiment of Red Army misdeeds in post-WWII Europe," ifo Working Paper Series 240, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    18. Stephen J. Redding, 2013. "Economic Geography: A Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Daniel Bernhofen & Rod Falvey & David Greenaway & Udo Kreickemeier (ed.), Palgrave Handbook of International Trade, chapter 16, pages 497-531, Palgrave Macmillan.
    19. Xu, Hangtian, 2016. "Multiple Equilibria in the Urban Spatial Structure: Evidence from the Hanshin Earthquake," MPRA Paper 75219, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Fuchs-Schündeln, N. & Hassan, T.A., 2016. "Natural Experiments in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 923-1012, Elsevier.
    21. Lewis, Joshua & Severnini, Edson, 2020. "Short- and long-run impacts of rural electrification: Evidence from the historical rollout of the U.S. power grid," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transport Infrastructure; Urban Growth; Path Dependence;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

    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:hhs:luekhi:0132. 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/dhlunse.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: Tobias Karlsson or Benny Carlsson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dhlunse.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.