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Railways, Growth, and Industrialisation in a Developing German Economy, 1829-1910

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  • Braun, Sebastian Till
  • Franke, Richard

Abstract

This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the effect of railways on the spatial economic development of a German economy, the Kingdom of Württemberg, during the Industrial Revolution. Our identification strategy compares the economic development of `winning' municipalities that were connected to the railway in 1845-54 to the development of `losing' municipalities that were the runners-up choice for a given railway line between two major towns. Estimates from both differences-in-differences and inverse-probability-weighted models suggest that railway access increased annual population growth by 0.4 percentage points over more than half a century. Railways also increased wages, income and housing values, in line with predictions of economic geography models of transport infrastructure improvements, reduced the gender wage gap, and accelerated the transition away from agriculture. We find little evidence that these effects are driven by localised displacement effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Braun, Sebastian Till & Franke, Richard, 2019. "Railways, Growth, and Industrialisation in a Developing German Economy, 1829-1910," MPRA Paper 93644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:93644
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Erik Hornung, 2021. "Industrialisierung im Deutschen Reich: Welche Rolle spielte die öffentliche Infrastruktur?," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 101(4), pages 258-262, April.
    2. Stephan E. Maurer & Ferdinand Rauch, 2019. "Economic geography aspects of the Panama Canal," CEP Discussion Papers dp1633, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Jaiswal, Sreeja & Bensch, Gunther & Navalkar, Aniket & Jayaraman, T., 2022. "The socio-economic and environmental impact of a large infrastructure project: The case of the Konkan Railway in India," Ruhr Economic Papers 936, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Franke, Richard, 2021. "Poverty, pollution, and mortality: The 1918 influenza pandemic in a developing German economy," MPRA Paper 107570, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Railway access; growth; sectoral employment; Industrial Revolution; Württemberg;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

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