IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/19802.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Coal and the European Industrial Revolution

Author

Listed:
  • Alan Fernihough
  • Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke

Abstract

We examine the importance of geographical proximity to coal as a factor underpinning comparative European economic development during the Industrial Revolution. Our analysis exploits geographical variation in city and coalfield locations, alongside temporal variation in the availability of coal-powered technologies, to quantify the effect of coal availability on historical city population sizes. Since we suspect that our coal measure could be endogenous, we use a geologically derived measure as an instrumental variable: proximity to rock strata from the Carboniferous era. Consistent with traditional historical accounts of the Industrial Revolution, we find that coal had a strong influence on city population size from 1800 onward. Counterfactual estimates of city population sizes indicate that our estimated coal effect explains around 60% of the growth in European city populations from 1750 to 1900. This result is robust to a number of alternative modelling assumptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Fernihough & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2014. "Coal and the European Industrial Revolution," NBER Working Papers 19802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19802
    Note: DAE EFG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19802.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1999. "A Generalized Moments Estimator for the Autoregressive Parameter in a Spatial Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 509-533, May.
    2. Crafts, Nicholas & Mulatu, Abay, 2006. "How Did the Location of Industry Respond to Falling Transport Costs in Britain Before World War I?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 575-607, September.
    3. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2011. "The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence From A Historical Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 593-650.
    4. Nicholas Crafts, 2004. "Steam as a general purpose technology: A growth accounting perspective," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 338-351, April.
    5. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1998. "A Generalized Spatial Two-Stage Least Squares Procedure for Estimating a Spatial Autoregressive Model with Autoregressive Disturbances," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 99-121, July.
    6. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
    7. Crafts, Nicholas & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2014. "The Location of the UK Cotton Textiles Industry in 1838: A Quantitative Analysis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1103-1139, December.
    8. Martinez-Galarraga, Julio, 2012. "The determinants of industrial location in Spain, 1856–1929," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 255-275.
    9. Franzese, Robert J. & Hays, Jude C., 2007. "Spatial Econometric Models of Cross-Sectional Interdependence in Political Science Panel and Time-Series-Cross-Section Data," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 140-164, April.
    10. Davide Cantoni, 2015. "The Economic Effects Of The Protestant Reformation: Testing The Weber Hypothesis In The German Lands," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 561-598, August.
    11. Allen,Robert C., 2009. "The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521868273.
    12. Andersen, Thomas Barnebeck & Jensen, Peter Sandholt & Skovsgaard, Christian Stejner, 2013. "The heavy plough and the agricultural revolution in medieval Europe," Discussion Papers on Economics 6/2013, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Economics.
    13. Wrigley,E. A., 2010. "Energy and the English Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766937, December.
    14. Redlich, Fritz, 1944. "The Leaders of the German Steam-Engine Industry During the First Hundred Years1," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 121-148, November.
    15. Wolf, Nikolaus, 2007. "Endowments vs. market potential: What explains the relocation of industry after the Polish reunification in 1918?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 22-42, January.
    16. Gregory Clark & David Jacks, 2006. "Coal and the Industrial Revolution, 1700-1869," Working Papers 251, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    17. Alexander Klein & Nicholas Crafts, 2012. "Making sense of the manufacturing belt: determinants of U.S. industrial location, 1880--1920," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(4), pages 775-807, July.
    18. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
    19. Theo Balderston, 2010. "The economics of abundance: coal and cotton in Lancashire and the world," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(3), pages 569-590, August.
    20. Millo, Giovanni & Piras, Gianfranco, 2012. "splm: Spatial Panel Data Models in R," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 47(i01).
    21. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    22. Maarten Bosker & Eltjo Buringh & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2013. "From Baghdad to London: Unraveling Urban Development in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, 800–1800," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1418-1437, October.
    23. Wright, Gavin, 1990. "The Origins of American Industrial Success, 1879-1940," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 651-668, September.
    24. Ömer Özak, 2012. "Distance to the Technological Frontier and Economic Development," Departmental Working Papers 1201, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    25. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Introductory Chapters, in: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World, Princeton University Press.
    26. Wrigley,E. A., 2010. "Energy and the English Industrial Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521131858, December.
    27. Gaure, Simen, 2013. "OLS with multiple high dimensional category variables," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 8-18.
    28. Mokyr, Joel, 1976. "Industrial Growth and Stagnation in the Low Countries, 1800–1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 276-278, March.
    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. Hanlon, W.Walker & Heblich, Stephan, 2022. "History and urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    2. Nielsen, Hana, 2021. "Coal and Sugar: The Black and White Gold of Czech Industrialization (1841-1863)," Lund Papers in Economic History 229, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    3. Richard Green and Nicholas Vasilakos, 2012. "Storing Wind for a Rainy Day: What Kind of Electricity Does Denmark Export?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    4. Chamberlin, Jordan, 2013. "Infrastructure, services, and smallholder income growth: evidence from Kenyan panel data," 2013 Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161269, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    5. Sofia Teives Henriques & Paul Sharp, 2016. "The Danish agricultural revolution in an energy perspective: a case of development with few domestic energy sources," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 844-869, August.
    6. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546.," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346, Elsevier.
    7. Thomas Keywood & Jörg Baten, 2021. "Elite violence and elite numeracy in Europe from 500 to 1900 CE: roots of the divergence," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 15(2), pages 319-389, May.
    8. Alexandra de Pleijt & Alessandro Nuvolari & Jacob Weisdorf, 2020. "Human Capital Formation During the First Industrial Revolution: Evidence from the use of Steam Engines," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 829-889.
    9. Morgan Kelly & Joel Mokyr & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2020. "The Mechanics of the Industrial Revolution," Working Papers 202016, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    10. David I. Stern and Astrid Kander, 2012. "The Role of Energy in the Industrial Revolution and Modern Economic Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    11. Paolo Malanima, 2020. "The limiting factor: energy, growth, and divergence, 1820–1913," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(2), pages 486-512, May.
    12. Baten, Jörg & Keywood, Thomas, 2019. "Elite Violence and Elite Numeracy in Europe from 500 to 1900 CE: A Co-Evolution?," CEPR Discussion Papers 14013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Anna Missiaia, 2019. "Market versus endowment: explaining early industrial location in Italy (1871–1911)," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 13(1), pages 127-161, January.
    14. Jedwab, Remi & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2015. "Urbanization without growth in historical perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-21.
    15. Moreno-Cruz, Juan & Taylor, M. Scott, 2017. "An energy-centric theory of agglomeration," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 153-172.
    16. Boerner, Lars & Rubin, Jared & Severgnini, Battista, 2021. "A time to print, a time to reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    17. Mark Koyama, 2013. "Preindustrial Cliometrics," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 268-278, June.
    18. Shuo Chen & James Kai-sing Kung, 2016. "Of maize and men: the effect of a New World crop on population and economic growth in China," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 71-99, March.
    19. Cormac Ó Gráda, 2016. "Did Science Cause the Industrial Revolution?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 224-239, March.
    20. Moreno-Cruz, Juan & Taylor, M. Scott, 2020. "Food, Fuel and the Domesday Economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:nbr:nberwo:19802. 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/nberrus.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: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.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.