The Railroad’s Impact on Land Values in the Upper Great Plains at the Closing of the Frontier
We show that the impact of transportation improvements on land values is complex with a direct, positive relationship on the price of land and also a positive relationship with the ratio of improved acres to total acres, another important influence on the per acre price of land. We construct a two step estimation that removes the impact of transportation outlets on the ratio of improved to total acres before including the transportation variables and the adjusted ratio variable as independent variables in a regression on price per acre. This estimation gives us the expected positive impact of railroads on land price. We also use Box-Cox regressions to show the semi-log form, a common model specification, may be inappropriate for our data and possibly then for other land price research.
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