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Railroads and Growth in Prussia

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  • Hornung, Erik

Abstract

We study the effect of railroad access on urban population growth. Using GIS techniques, we match triennial population data for roughly 1,000 cities in nineteenth-century Prussia to georeferenced maps of the German railroad network. We find positive short- and long-term effects of having a station on urban growth for different periods during 1840--1871. Causal effects of (potentially endogenous) railroad access on city growth are identified using propensity score matching, instrumental variables, and fixed-effects estimation techniques. Our instrument identifies exogenous variation in railroad access by constructing straight-line corridors between nodes. Counterfactual models using pre-railroad growth yield no evidence to support the hypothesis that railroads appeared as a consequence of a previous growth spurt.

Suggested Citation

  • Hornung, Erik, 2014. "Railroads and Growth in Prussia," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100589, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc14:100589
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 135-152.
    2. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2011. "The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization: Evidence From A Historical Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 593-650.
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    4. Jeremiah E. Dittmar, 2011. "Information Technology and Economic Change: The Impact of The Printing Press," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1133-1172.
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    11. Sascha O. Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2014. "iPEHD--The ifo Prussian Economic History Database," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 57-66, June.
    12. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cinnirella, Francesco & Hornung, Erik, 2016. "Landownership concentration and the expansion of education," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 135-152.
    2. Donges, Alexander & Selgert, Felix, 2019. "The Consequences of Radical Patent-Regime Change," Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203662, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Hanedar, Avni Önder, 2013. "Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Growth in a Dissolving Country: (Ir)relevance of Railroads in the Ottoman Empire," MPRA Paper 77974, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Apr 2017.
    4. repec:cpr:ceprdp:14194 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Stephan Fretz & Raphaël Parchet & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2017. "Highways, Market Access and Spatial Sorting," SERC Discussion Papers 0227, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    6. Wahl, Fabian, 2015. "The long shadow of history: Roman legacy and economic development - evidence from the German limes," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 08-2015, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    7. 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.
    8. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Francesco Cinnirella & Oded Galor & Boris Gershman & Erik Hornung, 2017. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and the Emergence of Labor Emancipation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6423, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Stephan E. Maurer & Ferdinand Rauch, 2019. "Economic Geography Aspects of the Panama Canal," CEP Discussion Papers dp1633, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Stephen Gibbons & Stephan Heblich & Ted Pinchbeck, 2018. "The Spatial Impacts of a Massive Rail Disinvestment Program: The Beeching Axe," CEP Discussion Papers dp1563, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Braun, Sebastian Till & Dwenger, Nadja, 2019. "Settlement Location Shapes Refugee Integration: Evidence from Post-War Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 12741, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Berger, Thor & Enflo, Kerstin, 2017. "Locomotives of local growth: The short- and long-term impact of railroads in Sweden," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 124-138.
    13. Holl, Adelheid, 2016. "Highways and productivity in manufacturing firms," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 131-151.
    14. Eyal Apatov & Nathan Chappell & Arthur Grimes, 2018. "Is internet on the right track? The digital divide, path dependence, and the rollout of New Zealand’s ultra-fast broadband," Working Papers 18_04, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    15. Gregor Pfeifer & Fabian Wahl & Martyna Marczak, 2018. "Illuminating the World Cup effect: Night lights evidence from South Africa," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 887-920, November.
    16. Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López, 2018. "All roads lead to Rome ... and to sprawl? Evidence from European cities," Working Papers 2018/02, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    17. Zhang, Yi & Matz, Julia Anna, 2017. "On the train to brain gain in rural China," Discussion Papers 252443, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    18. Melanie Morten & Jaqueline Oliveira, 2016. "Paving the Way to Development: Costly Migration and Labor Market Integration," NBER Working Papers 22158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol H, 2016. "Market Integration as a Mechanism of Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 11627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Konstantin Büchel & Stephan Kyburz, 2018. "Fast Track to Growth? Railway Access, Population Growth and Local Displacement in 19th Century Switzerland," CEP Discussion Papers dp1538, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    21. 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.
    22. Büchel, Konstantin & Kyburz, Stephan, 2018. "Fast track to growth? Railway access, population growth and local displacement in 19th century Switzerland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 88689, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    23. Sibylle Lehmann-Hasemeyer & Jochen Streb, 2016. "The Berlin Stock Exchange in Imperial Germany: A Market for New Technology?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3558-3576, November.
    24. Katz‬‏, ‪Ori, 2018. "Railroads, Economic Development, and the Demographic Transition in the United States," MPRA Paper 88869, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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