Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - 4


RAILROAD TIES

What railroads can teach us
about our mobile world
1. Railroads expanded west between 1870 and 1890 . . .
KEY:

Railroads

Natural waterways and canals

1870
Minneapolis

Boston

Chicago

New York

San Francisco

Saint Louis

2. Accessing new markets created wealth.
As railroads expanded to reduce the cost of transporting agricultural goods, better access to markets made farmland more valuable. The map shows changes in market access in each county
between 1870 and 1890. The darker the county, the bigger the improvement in market access.
Change in market access:

85%

94%

No data

108% 129% 189% 397%

An America without
railroads
To estimate the economic impact
of railroads, it is useful to ask:
What would the US have looked
like if all railroads had been
removed in 1890?
Market access

Source: Dave Donaldson and Richard
Hornbeck, "Railroads and American
Economic Growth: A 'Market Access' Approach,"
Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming.

4

SHORT LINE CONNECTOR // FALL 2016

-80%

Value of farmland

-60.2%

Population

up to -58.4%



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Short Line Connector - Fall 2016

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Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - Cover1
Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - Cover2
Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - No label
Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - 2
Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - 3
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Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - Cover3
Short Line Connector - Fall 2016 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer19
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring19
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter19
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall18
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer18
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring18
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter18
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall17
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer17
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/FactsAndFigures
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring17
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter17
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall16
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer16
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring2016
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