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Inter-modal Network Externalities and Transport Development: Evidence from Roads, Canals, and Ports during the English Industrial Revolution

  • Dan Bogart

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

How does the development of one transport mode influence the development of another? This paper uses time-series data to test whether inter-model network externalities influenced the development of road, canal, and port infrastructure in England from 1760 to 1830. The main finding is that road development had a positive effect on canal development. The results suggest that the option value of investing in a canal in the future diminished when nearby road improvements were initiated because there was less uncertainty about future profits from canal tolls. They also suggest a reinterpretation of road transport in the Industrial Revolution and point to the general importance of inter-modal network externalities.

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File URL: http://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2007-08/bogart-12.pdf
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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 070812.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:070812
Contact details of provider: Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
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Web page: http://www.economics.uci.edu/

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  1. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1990. "Public Finance in Models of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pindyck, Robert S., 1990. "Irreversibility, uncertainty, and investment," Working papers 3137-90., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  3. N. F. R. Crafts & C. K. Harley, 1992. "Output growth and the British industrial revolution: a restatement of the Crafts-Harley view," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(4), pages 703-730, November.
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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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