초록

Purpose – The introduction and expansion of the railway network since the 19th century brought revolutionary changes in economic activities, performance, and structure. The purpose of this study is estimating the impact of railroads on the local agricultural and manufacturing structures in the 19th century USA. Research design, data, and methodology – To identify the impact of railroads on local economic structure, county-level panel data from the U.S. census were analyzed using a panel fixed-effect differences-in-differences regression. The empirical investigation focuses on whether railroads changed the overall volume and sectoral composition of the local agricultural sector, and whether they contributed to the growth of the local manufacturing industry and its productivity. Results – The railroad introduction led to the relative decline of the agricultural sector, while encouraging the growth of market-oriented gardening. As such, manufacturing productivity increased by the introduction of railroads, although manufacturing inputs and home manufactures were unaffected. Conclusions – The findings imply that railroads contributed to the growth of market-oriented farming in rural areas, and the rise of productivity in the local manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, evidence of railroad-driven growth for the entire agricultural sector or a massive reallocation of resources from agriculture to manufacturing were not found.

키워드

Local Economic Structure, Railroad, Agriculture, Manufacture, Productivity

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