Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012

42 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2013

See all articles by Guy Michaels

Guy Michaels

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Ferdinand Rauch

University of Oxford

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

Do locational fundamentals such as coastlines and rivers determine town locations, or can historical events trap towns in unfavorable locations for centuries? We examine the effects on town locations of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, which temporarily ended urbanization in Britain, but not in France. As urbanization recovered, medieval towns were more often found in Roman-era town locations in France than in Britain, and this difference still persists today. The resetting of Britain's urban network gave it better access to naturally navigable waterways when this was important, while many French towns remained without such access.

Keywords: Economic Geography, Economic History, Path Dependence, Transportation

JEL Classification: N93, O18, R11

Suggested Citation

Michaels, Guy and Rauch, Ferdinand, Resetting the Urban Network: 117-2012 (November 2013). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9760. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2359539

Guy Michaels (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Ferdinand Rauch

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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