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Abstract:

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CEP Discussion Paper
Fast Track to Growth? Railway Access, Population Growth and Local Displacement in 19th Century Switzerland
Konstantin Büchel and Stephan Kyburz April 2018
Paper No' CEPDP1538:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: N33; N73; O18


Tags: railway access; population growth; displacement effects

We study the effect of railway access on population growth in 19th century Switzerland. Our analysis is based on geo-referenced railway network information and an inconsequential units IV approach. Gaining direct railway access increased annual population growth by 0.4 percentage points, while municipalities in close vicinity but no direct access (i.e. 2{10 km distance) experienced a growth slump of similar magnitude. We interpret these findings as evidence of highly localised displacement effects related to railway connections.