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Division of Labor and the Rise of Cities: Evidence from U.S. Industrialization, 1850-1880

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  • Sukkoo Kim

Abstract

Industrial revolution in the United States first took hold in rural New England as factories arose and grew in a handful of industries such as textiles and shoes. However, as factory scale economies rose and factory production techniques were adopted by an ever growing number of industries, industrialization became concentrated in cities throughout the Northeastern region which came to be known as the manufacturing belt. While it is extremely difficult to rule out other types of agglomeration economies such as spillovers, this paper suggests that these geographic developments associated with industrial revolution in the U.S. are most consistent with explanations based on division of labor, job search and matching costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Sukkoo Kim, 2006. "Division of Labor and the Rise of Cities: Evidence from U.S. Industrialization, 1850-1880," NBER Working Papers 12246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12246
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dora L. Costa, 2014. "Leaders: Privilege, Sacrifice, Opportunity, and Personnel Economics in the American Civil War," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 437-462.
    2. Crafts, Nicholas & Klein, Alexander, 2015. "Agglomeration Economies and Productivity Growth: U.S. Cities, 1880-1930," CEPR Discussion Papers 10673, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A.M. Ponzetto & Kristina Tobio, 2010. "The Varieties of Regional Change," Working Papers 472, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Sukkoo Kim, 2007. "Immigration, Industrial Revolution and Urban Growth in the United States, 1820-1920: Factor Endowments, Technology and Geography," NBER Working Papers 12900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jedwab, Remi & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2015. "Urbanization without growth in historical perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-21.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N6 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction
    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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    1. Historical Economic Geography

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