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Gibrat's Law and the British industrial revolution

Klein, Alexander and Leunig, Tim (2013) Gibrat's Law and the British industrial revolution. SERC Discussion Papers (SERCDP0140). Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper examines Gibrat’s law in England and Wales between 1801 and 1911 using a unique data set covering the entire settlement size distribution. We find that Gibrat’s law broadly holds even in the face of population doubling every fifty years, an industrial and transport revolution, and the absence of zoning laws to constrain growth. The result is strongest for the later period, and in counties most affected by the industrial revolution. The exception were villages in areas bypassed by the industrial revolution. We argue that agglomeration externalities balanced urban disamenities such as commuting costs and poor living conditions to ensure steady growth of many places, rather than exceptional growth of few.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publication...
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Spatial Economics Research Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N9 - Regional and Urban History > N93 - Europe: Pre-1913
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Research centres and groups > Spatial Economics Research Centre
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2014 14:01
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2019 00:04
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), Welsh Assembly Government
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/58363

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