Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2009-06
The Steam Engine and U.S. Urban Growth During the Late Nineteenth Century
Burton A. Abrams, Jing Li, and James G. MulliganABSTRACT
There is an on-going debate concerning the role that the steam engine played in fueling urban growth in the U.S. during the second half of the nineteenth century. While a consensus has been building that steam power played little or no role in affecting urban growth, we find evidence to the contrary by using previously untapped county-level data on steam power in manufacturing.
JEL Codes: N32, O14, O18
Keywords: Urbanization, Technology, Convergence