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The U.S. Westward Expansion

  • Guillaume Vandenbroucke

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Southern California)

The U.S. economic development in the nineteenth century was characterized by the westward movement of population and the accumulation of productive land in the West. This paper presents a model of migration and land improvement to identify the quantitatively important forces driving this phenomena. Two forces are key: the decrease in transportation costs induced the westward migration, while population growth was responsible for the investment in productive land.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR) in its series IEPR Working Papers with number 06.59.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:scp:wpaper:06-59
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Web page: http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/economics/IEPR/
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  1. Hercowitz, Z. & Pines, D., 1989. "Migration Between Home Country And Diaspora: An Economic Analysis," RCER Working Papers 180, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Michael R. Haines, 1994. "The Population of the United States, 1790-1920," NBER Historical Working Papers 0056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Easterlin, Richard A., 1976. "Population Change and Farm Settlement in the Northern United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 45-75, March.
  4. Andolfatto, D. & MacDonald, G.M., 1995. "Technological Innovation, Diffusion, and Business Cycle Dynamics," Working Papers 9503, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics.
  5. Primack, Martin L., 1962. "Land Clearing Under Nineteenth-Century Techniques: Some Preliminary Calculations," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(04), pages 484-497, December.
  6. David Andolfatto & Glenn M. MacDonald, 1998. "Technology Diffusion and Aggregate Dynamics," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 58, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  7. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Robert E. Gallman, 1992. "American Economic Growth before the Civil War: The Testimony of the Capital Stock Estimates," NBER Chapters, in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 79-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521553070 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Eckstein, Zvi & Stern, Steven & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1988. "Fertility Choice, Land, and the Malthusian Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 353-61, May.
  11. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The baby boom and baby bust: some macroeconomics for population economics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  12. Robert E. Gallman, 1986. "The United States Capital Stock in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Long-Term Factors in American Economic Growth, pages 165-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Primack, Martin L., 1969. "Farm Fencing in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 287-291, June.
  14. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 1, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  15. repec:fth:simfra:95-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521553087 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Steckel, Richard H., 1983. "The economic foundations of East-West migration during the 19th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 14-36, January.
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