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Fast Track to Growth? The Impact of Railway Access on Regional Economic Development in 19th Century Switzerland

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  • Konstantin Buechel, Stephan Kyburz

Abstract

We study the effect of railway access on regional development in 19th century Switzerland. The identification strategy in our analysis of geo-referenced railway network information, population growth rates, sectoral work shares and body height, relies on panel data techniques and an inconsequential units IV approach. Gaining railway access increased annual population growth by 0.4 percentage points compared to unconnected municipalities, mainly via the local migration balance. Railway improvements also promoted structural shifts from the primary to the secondary/tertiary sectors, and marginally accelerated body height growth.

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  • Konstantin Buechel, Stephan Kyburz, 2016. "Fast Track to Growth? The Impact of Railway Access on Regional Economic Development in 19th Century Switzerland," Diskussionsschriften credresearchpaper12, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft - CRED.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdv:wpaper:credresearchpaper12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Railway Access; Regional Development; Population Growth; Structural Change; Body Height; Switzerland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - 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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