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Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?

Nathaniel Baum-Snow

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007, vol. 122, issue 2, pages 775-805

Abstract: Between 1950 and 1990, the aggregate population of central cities in the United States declined by 17 percent despite population growth of 72 percent in metropolitan areas as a whole. This paper assesses the extent to which the construction of new limited access highways has contributed to central city population decline. Using planned portions of the interstate highway system as a source of exogenous variation, empirical estimates indicate that one new highway passing through a central city reduces its population by about 18 percent. Estimates imply that aggregate central city population would have grown by about 8 percent had the interstate highway system not been built.

Date: 2007
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:775-805.

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