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Transport, urbanization and economic development in England and Wales c.1670-1911

Transport, urbanization and economic development in England and Wales c.1670-1911

10. Rosevear, A., Bogart, D., Shaw-Taylor, L. 'Did turnpiking improve the quality of roads in England & Wales?-new evidence using Geographic Information System mapping and contemporary reports.'

Abstract

Infrastructure quality plays an important role in determining communications and trade. This paper studies turnpike trusts in industrialising England and investigates when and where they improved the quality of roads. It re-examines data sources, including the text in Acts of Parliament, Reports of Parliamentary Committees , returns from an 1838 turnpike survey as well as an under-exploited source, the comments made by regular road users in their diaries. GIS is used to handle the large amounts of data and give a spatial display of information. We conclude that in the first half of the 18th century the repairing of the ancient highways by turnpike trusts slowly rectified some sections of main roads that had become ruinous under Parish management. During the second part of the 18th century trusts brought many more sections of road up to a quality that contemporaries judged better than the older roads. In the 1790s investment in existing turnpikes failed to keep up with increasing traffic so by the early 1800s roads around London in particular, had deteriorated. This stimulated a fresh wave of rapid improvement in road construction by turnpike trusts guided by professional road surveyors, particularly McAdam. During this period many miles of totally new road were made to these new standards, along better alinements than the those of the ancient highways. The culmination in this wave of improvement was evidenced in the generally high rating of road quality on turnpikes in 1838.

This paper is available online.

9. 'Transport development and urban population change in the age of steam: A market access approach', Xuesheng You, Dan Bogart, Eduard Alvarez, Max Satchell and Leigh Shaw-Taylor

Abstract

This article takes a market access approach to study the effect of a major transport development, the introduction of steam-powered transport, on urban population change for 415 towns in England and Wales between 1830 and 1911. The totality of the roads, inland waterways, coastal routes and railway networks recorded in available sources for these two dates were digitised with unprecedented accuracy, in order to build a multimodal transport network accordingly. Our baseline model produces the unexpected result that, on average, improved market access had a negative effect on urban population growth. More specifically, the elasticity of population change with respect to market access change was of approximately -0.25. We argue that this unexpected effect was due to the strong heterogeneous effects of market access according to initial town size. Indeed, our estimates show that while market access had a significantly positive effect on population growth in large towns, it had a significantly negative effect on small towns. We argue that this heterogeneous effect was due to the fact that improved transport networks reinforced agglomeration effects in large urban centres while diminished the dispersion effect that had previously protected small towns.

This paper is available online.

6. Bogart, D., You, X., Alvarez, E., Satchell, A.E.M., Shaw-Taylor, L. 'Railways, divergence, and structural change in 19th century England and Wales.'

Abstract

Railways transformed inland transport during the nineteenth century. In this paper, we study how railways led to population change and divergence in England and Wales as it underwent dramatic urbanization. We make use of detailed data on railway stations, population, and occupational change in more than 9000 spatial units. A least cost path based on major towns and the length of the 1851 rail network is also created to address endogeneity. Our instrumental variable estimates show that having a railway station in a locality by 1851 led to significantly higher population growth from 1851 to 1891 and shifted the male occupational structure away from agriculture. Moreover, we estimate that having stations increased population growth more if localities had greater population density in 1801 and there were population losses for localities 3 to 15 km from stations. Overall, we find that railways reinforced the population hierarchy of the early nineteenth century and contributed to further spatial divergence. The implications for national income and labour productivity are large. his paper is under review at Journal of Urban Economics and is currently available as a working paper.


5. Alvarez, E., Bogart, D., Dunn, O., Satchell, A.E.M., Shaw-Taylor, L., 'Transport and urban growth in the first industrial revolution.'

Abstract

During the first industrial revolution the English and Welsh economy underwent a spatial transformation to go along with its structural transformation in employment. It became highly urbanized and, apart from London, its urban centre shifted to the northwest. This paper examines the role of transport in causing this spatial transformation. Transport changed greatly with infrastructure improvements and technological and organizational innovations. We focus on those occurring before the era of railways and steam ships, when waggons, canals, and sail ships were dominant. We construct a measure of market access for nearly 458 towns in 1680 and 1830 using a new multi-modal transport model and then estimate the effects of market access and on urban populations. Our regression model controls for various town characteristics, including coal endowments. The results show that market access robustly explains urban population. Through counterfactuals we also estimate that England's urban population would be 21% lower if transport costs did not change in real terms from 1680 to 1830. The results have implications for the drivers of the industrial revolution and more generally on economic growth. This paper is currently available as a working paper.

4. Satchell, A.E.M., 'Identifying the Trunk Roads of Early Modern England and Wales.'

Abstract
Hitherto studies of the road transport network in Early Modern England and Wales and its relationship to economic and demographic change have suffered from lack of clear information concerning the geography of the network of what can be termed trunk roads - the primary long distance routes which connected cities, ports and large towns, and, as such, would have been likely to develop road passenger and carrying services early. This lack of information primarily reflects the fragmentary nature of surviving documentary and cartographic sources, and also the difficulty hitherto, of integrating the very substantial amounts of geographical information within this material in an effective analytical framework. This paper begins with a discussion of the earliest road atlas of England and Wales - John Ogilby's Britannia, published in 1675 and the degree to which its content can be regarded as indicative of main roads. The location of Ogilby roads are then compared, using the GIS, with other sources indicative of road travel from the late sixteenth century to c. 1715: 11,000 places with spare beds and stables as recorded in a national survey of 1686; 2,500 licensed chapmen 1686-7; places with scheduled road services from London (1637-1715); routes indicated in early road books, postal stages, and some early county maps. The paper concludes with an assessment of the degree to which Ogilby's routes actually did represent trunk roads and how much of this network Ogilby may have missed.

This paper is currently available as a working paper

3. Bogart, D., Satchell, A.E.M., Alvarez, E., Shaw-Taylor, L., and You, X., 'Turnpikes, canals, and economic growth in England and Wales, 1800-1850.'

Abstract
Improvements to roads and rivers and the construction of canals were the largest infrastructure investments in England during the industrial revolution. This paper estimates their effects on local population and employment growth using new GIS data covering all parishes in England and Wales or more than 9000 units. The main results show that greater access to the turnpike and inland waterway network around 1800 increased parish population growth from 1801 to 1851. Greater access to infrastructure also increased secondary and tertiary employment growth from 1817 to 1851. Greater access had the opposite effect on agriculture employment growth, we think because it was more land intensive. In a final exercise, we show that English and Welsh population growth would have been 3.9% lower between 1801 and 1851 if road and inland waterways were equal to the late 17th century. As this represents about 8% of the total, it appears that turnpike roads, rivers, and canals were one of several contributors to growth during the industrial revolution.

This paper is currently available as a working paper.

2. Bottomley, S., Bogart, D., Satchell, A.E.M., Shaw-Taylor, L. 'Transport networks and the adoption of steam engines in England and Wales, 1761-1800.'

Abstract
The steam engine was the quintessential invention of the Industrial Revolution. It revolutionized mining, textile manufacturing, transportation, and many other important economic sectors in England from the 18th century through the mid-19th century. This paper investigates whether transport networks influenced the spatial diffusion of steam engines, and compares their effects with endowments like having coal and being a coastal location. Our preliminary results show that parishes closer to turnpike roads and inland waterways in 1770 had a much higher probability of adopting at least one steam engine between 1770 and 1800. Having coal and being a coastal parish were also positively related. The findings shed new light on how transport improvements affected technology adoption during the industrial revolution.

This paper is currently available as a working paper.

1. Bogart, D., Alvarez, E., Dunn, O., Satchell, A.E.M., Shaw Taylor, L. 'Market access and urban growth in England and Wales during the pre-steam era.'

Abstract
The English and Welsh economy underwent a structural and spatial transformation between the late 17th and early 19th century. It became highly urbanized and, apart from London, its urban center shifted to the northwest. What caused these developments? This paper examines the role of market access. Market access changed greatly with infrastructure improvements and technological and organizational changes in transport. Many of these developments occurred before the era of railways and steam ships, when wagons, canals, and sail ships were dominant. We construct a measure of market access for nearly 150 towns in 1680 and 1830 using a new multi-modal transport model. We then estimate the effects of changes in market access and levels of market access on population growth. Our regression model controls for various town characteristics, including coal endowments. The results show that market access explains about 25% of the urban growth from 1680 to 1830 and nearly all the urban growth from 1831 to 1851. The results have implications for the drivers of the industrial revolution and more generally on economic growth.

This paper is currently available as a working paper.