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Railways, Growth, and Industrialisation in a Developing German Economy, 1829-1910

Sebastian Braun () and Richard Franke

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the effect of railways on the spatial economic development of a German economy, the Kingdom of Württemberg, during the Industrial Revolution. Our identification strategy compares the economic development of `winning' municipalities that were connected to the railway in 1845-54 to the development of `losing' municipalities that were the runners-up choice for a given railway line between two major towns. Estimates from both differences-in-differences and inverse-probability-weighted models suggest that railway access increased annual population growth by 0.4 percentage points over more than half a century. Railways also increased wages, income and housing values, in line with predictions of economic geography models of transport infrastructure improvements, reduced the gender wage gap, and accelerated the transition away from agriculture. We find little evidence that these effects are driven by localised displacement effects.

Keywords: Railway access; growth; sectoral employment; Industrial Revolution; Württemberg (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N73 N93 O14 R12 R40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-geo, nep-gro, nep-his, nep-tre and nep-ure
Date: 2019-05-03
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