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History and Urban Economics

W Hanlon () and Stephan Heblich

No 15303, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This article reviews recent literature using insights from history to answer central questions in urban economics. This area of research has seen rapid growth in the past decade, thanks to new technologies that have made available increasingly rich data stretching far back in time. The focus is to review innovative methods to exploit historical information and discuss applications of these data that provide new insights into (i) the long run growth of cities or regional economies and (ii) the spatial organization of economic activities within cities. The review also surveys the growing literature outside urban economics that uses the historical urbanization as a proxy for economic growth, discusses differences between how economic historians and urban economists think about the relationship between urbanization and growth, and considers how these views might be reconciled.

Keywords: economic history; growth; Review; Urban Economics; Urbanization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N7 N9 R00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09
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