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Locomotives of local growth: The short- and long-term impact of railroads in Sweden

Berger, Thor LU and Enflo, Kerstin LU (2017) In Journal of Urban Economics 98. p.124-138
Abstract
This paper studies the impact of railroads on 150 years of urban growth in Sweden, identifying the short- and long-term effects of a first wave of railroad construction. Difference-in-differences and instrumental variable estimates show that towns that gained access experienced substantial relative increases in population, though such growth mainly reflected a relocation of economic activity. Over the twentieth century, we find little evidence of convergence in town populations, despite the railroad network expanding further to connect nearly all towns. Evidence on historical investments and present-day factors is consistent with the idea that the transitory shock of the first railroads gave rise to path dependence in the location of... (More)
This paper studies the impact of railroads on 150 years of urban growth in Sweden, identifying the short- and long-term effects of a first wave of railroad construction. Difference-in-differences and instrumental variable estimates show that towns that gained access experienced substantial relative increases in population, though such growth mainly reflected a relocation of economic activity. Over the twentieth century, we find little evidence of convergence in town populations, despite the railroad network expanding further to connect nearly all towns. Evidence on historical investments and present-day factors is consistent with the idea that the transitory shock of the first railroads gave rise to path dependence in the location of economic activity. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Urban growth, Transport infrastructure, Railroads, Path dependence
in
Journal of Urban Economics
volume
98
pages
15 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85017141928
  • wos:000398742100008
ISSN
1095-9068
DOI
10.1016/j.jue.2015.09.001
project
Swedish Regional Economic Growth in a European Perspective
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b7b56a77-ff9d-4560-beca-3734fff8d79f (old id 8257882)
date added to LUP
2015-12-03 10:33:16
date last changed
2018-04-15 03:21:49
@article{b7b56a77-ff9d-4560-beca-3734fff8d79f,
  abstract     = {This paper studies the impact of railroads on 150 years of urban growth in Sweden, identifying the short- and long-term effects of a first wave of railroad construction. Difference-in-differences and instrumental variable estimates show that towns that gained access experienced substantial relative increases in population, though such growth mainly reflected a relocation of economic activity. Over the twentieth century, we find little evidence of convergence in town populations, despite the railroad network expanding further to connect nearly all towns. Evidence on historical investments and present-day factors is consistent with the idea that the transitory shock of the first railroads gave rise to path dependence in the location of economic activity.},
  author       = {Berger, Thor and Enflo, Kerstin},
  issn         = {1095-9068},
  keyword      = {Urban growth,Transport infrastructure,Railroads,Path dependence},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {124--138},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Urban Economics},
  title        = {Locomotives of local growth: The short- and long-term impact of railroads in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jue.2015.09.001},
  volume       = {98},
  year         = {2017},
}