The impact of military forts on agricultural investments on the Great Plains in 1880
We empirically investigate the relationship between agricultural development and proximity to military forts in Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado in 1880. Agricultural investments are substantially higher in counties where a military fort is present, suggesting that military forts stimulated agricultural development on the Great Plains. However, the reverse is not true; there is no statistical support for the notion that forts necessarily located in counties where substantial development was already occurring. Moreover, we found that while the presence of a military fort has the effect of increasing agricultural development, there is no evidence that such a presence sustained agricultural development.
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