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Profiting from Public Works: Financial Returns to Infrastructure and Investment Strategies during Britain's Industrial Revolution

  • Dan Bogart

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

The infrastructure sector has the potential to generate wide differences in profits and economic outcomes. This paper examines financial returns and investment strategies for Britain’s turnpike roads in the early nineteenth century. There are three main findings. First, rates of return on capital invested and returns to bondholders were similar to competitive sectors. Second, there was significant variation in returns across trusts. Third, there is evidence that turnpike investors were driven by financial motives, although economic motives appear to be important in some cases. The findings have implications regarding the connection between infrastructure and Britain’s industrialization.

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File URL: http://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2012-13/bogart-04.pdf
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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 121304.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:121304
Contact details of provider: Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
Phone: (949) 824-5788
Web page: http://www.economics.uci.edu/

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  1. Bogart, Dan, 2005. "Did Turnpike Trusts Increase Transportation Investment in Eighteenth-Century England?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(02), pages 439-468, June.
  2. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521687850 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521840187 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Klein, Daniel B, 1990. "The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods? The Turnpike Companies of Early America," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 788-812, October.
  5. Dan Bogart, 2009. "Turnpike trusts and property income: new evidence on the effects of transport improvements and legislation in eighteenth-century England -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(1), pages 128-152, 02.
  6. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2004. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," CEPR Discussion Papers 4420, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Trew, Alex, 2010. "Infrastructure Finance and Industrial Takeoff in England," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-25, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  8. David S. Jacks, 2010. "Foreign Wars, Domestic Markets: England, 1793-1815," NBER Working Papers 16236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521549486 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Klein, Daniel & Majewski, John, 1991. "Economy, Community and Law: The Turnpike Movement in New York, 1797-1845," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt61b022cr, University of California Transportation Center.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521868273 is not listed on IDEAS
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