How the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Shaped Economic Activity in the American West

22 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2019

See all articles by Philipp Ager

Philipp Ager

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Katherine Eriksson

University of California, Davis

Casper Worm Hansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; University of Copenhagen

Lars Lønstrup

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

This paper examines the long-run effects of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake on the spatial distribution of economic activity in the American West. Using variation in the potential damage intensity of the earthquake, we show that more severely affected cities experienced lower population increases relative to less affected cities until the late 20th century. This long-lasting effect is largely a result of individuals' high geographical mobility at that time. Less affected areas became more attractive migration destinations in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, which permanently changed the spatial distribution of economic activity in the American West.

Keywords: American West, Economic Geography, Location of Economic Activity, migration, Natural Disasters

JEL Classification: N9, O15, O40, R11, R12

Suggested Citation

Ager, Philipp and Eriksson, Katherine and Hansen, Casper Worm and Lønstrup, Lars, How the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Shaped Economic Activity in the American West (March 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13632. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3363545

Philipp Ager (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Katherine Eriksson

University of California, Davis ( email )

Casper Worm Hansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen K, DK 1153
Denmark

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

Lars Lønstrup

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://www.sdu.dk/staff/loe.aspx

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