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A VAR Analysis of the Transportation Revolution in Europe

Marta Felis-Rota

No 2014/01, Working Papers in Economic History from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History)

Abstract: During the second half of the 19th century transportation costs decreased sharply. Among the most notable technological advances that lead to the transportation revolution we find the arrival of the railways. This paper provides a quantitative analysis of the expansion of the railways at the time of the so-called First Globalization in European countries through a vector autoregressive analysis. Total mileage of the railways has been obtained through GIS software for every European country, via a long process of digitalization of historical atlases. Then the vector autoregressive analysis and the impulse-response functions show the interaction between railways and GDP. I find interactions going in both directions of the VAR, and that the persistence of the effects varies from country to country. Thanks to this method, we can compare differentiated patterns of development associated to idiosyncratic transportation revolutions in Europe.

Keywords: VAR; railways; growth; comparative economic history (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C3 N13 R4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2014-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-tre
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