The Strategic Bombing of German Cities During World War Ii and its Impact on City Growth

35 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2002

See all articles by Steven Brakman

Steven Brakman

University of Groningen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Harry Garretsen

Utrecht University - School of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics

Marc Schramm

Utrecht University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: November 2002

Abstract

We construct a unique data set to analyze whether or not a large temporary shock had an impact on German city growth and city size distribution. Following recent work by Davis and Weinstein (2001) on Japan, we take the strategic bombing of German cities during WWII as our example of such a shock. The goal of this paper is to analyze the impact of this shock on German city growth and the resulting city size distribution. If city growth follows a random walk this would imply that the war shock had a permanent impact on German city growth. If, however, as a second group of theories predicts, the random walk hypothesis is not confirmed, this would mean that the war shock had at most a temporary effect on the city growth process. Our main finding is that city growth in western Germany did not follow a random walk, while in eastern Germany it did. Different post-war economic systems are most likely responsible for this outcome.

JEL Classification: R11, R12, F12

Suggested Citation

Brakman, Steven and Garretsen, Harry and Schramm, Marc, The Strategic Bombing of German Cities During World War Ii and its Impact on City Growth (November 2002). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 808. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=358323

Steven Brakman

University of Groningen - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
+31 50 363 3746 (Phone)
+31 50 363 3730 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Harry Garretsen (Contact Author)

Utrecht University - School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, 3584 EC
Netherlands
+31 0 30 253 9810 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

Radboud University Nijmegen - Department of Economics ( email )

Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands
+31 24 361 5889 (Phone)
+31 24 361 1846 (Fax)

Marc Schramm

Utrecht University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Janskerkhof 3
Utrecht, 3512 BK
Netherlands

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
262
Abstract Views
3,438
rank
116,340
PlumX Metrics