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Revolutionizing transport: modern infrastructure, agriculture and development in Ghana

Jedwab, Remi and Moradi, Alexander (2012) Revolutionizing transport: modern infrastructure, agriculture and development in Ghana. In: Modern and Comparative seminar, 8th March 2012, London School of Economics and Political Science. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

We study the impact of colonial investments in modern transportation in- frastructure on agriculture and development in Ghana. Two railway lines were built between 1901 and 1923 to connect the coast to mining areas and the large hinterland city of Kumasi. This unintendedly opened vast expanses of tropical forest to cocoa cultivation, allowing Ghana to become the world's largest producer. Using data at a very fine spatial level, we find a strong effect of railroad connectivity on cocoa production in 1927, generating rents in the order of 4.5% of GDP. We show that the economic boom in cocoa-producing areas was associated with demographic growth and urbanization. We find no effect for lines that were not built yet, and lines that were planned but never built. Lastly, railway construction had a persistent impact: railway districts are more developed today despite a complete displacement of rail by other means of transport

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/seminars/Mod...
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: F - International Economics > F1 - Trade
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N17 - Africa; Oceania
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R4 - Transportation Systems
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2012 16:06
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/42263/

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