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Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012

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  • Ferdinand Rauch
  • Guy Michaels

Abstract

Do locational fundamentals such as coastlines and rivers determine town locations, or can historical events trap towns in unfavorable locations for centuries? We examine the effects on town locations of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, which temporarily ended urbanization in Britain, but not in France. As urbanization recovered, medieval towns were more often found in Roman-era town locations in France thanin Britain, and this difference still persists today. The resetting of Britain's urban network gave it better access to naturally navigable waterways when this was important, while many French towns remained without such access.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferdinand Rauch & Guy Michaels, 2013. "Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012," Economics Series Working Papers 684, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:684
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Geography; Economic History; Path Dependence; Transportation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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