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CEP discussion paper

Fast track to growth? Railway access, population growth and local displacement in 19th century Switzerland


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.


Konstantin Büchel and Stephan Kyburz

9 April 2018     Paper Number CEPDP1538

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Urban programme.