The role of transportation in U.S. economic development: 1840-1860

Berthold Herrendorf, James A. Schmitz, Arilton Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We return to two questions concerning the 19th century U.S. transportation revolution. First, to what extent were transportation improvements responsible for the large changes in the regional distribution of population in the United States and, within regions, for the changes in industry structure? Second, how important were transportation improvements for welfare gains? We find that transport improvements were the key factor driving where people lived and what industry they worked in. We also find that transport improvements were important for welfare gains: Gains over 1840-1860 would have been only half as large if there had been no transportation improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-716
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Economic Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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