• Seminar at Berkeley, Haas Business School on roads and development


    On Thursday, September 12, I’ll be giving a talk at the Oliver E. Williamson Seminar on Institutional Analysis, at Haas Business School Berkeley. The seminar is from 4:10 – 6:00 pm in room C325 Cheit Hall.

    Here is a short preview of the paper:

    Road Access and the Spatial Pattern of Long-term Local Development in Brazil
    Julia Bird and Stéphane Straub, Toulouse School of Economics

    This paper studies the impact of the rapid expansion of the Brazilian road network, which occurred during the 1960s to the 2000s, on the growth and spatial allocation of population and economic activity across the country’s municipalities. It addresses the problem of endogeneity in infrastructure supply and location by using an original empirical strategy, based on a “historical natural experiment” constituted by the creation of the new federal capital city Brasília in 1960. The results reveal a dual pattern of development, with improved transport connections increasing concentration of economic activity and population around the main centers in the South of the country, while spurring the emergence of secondary economic centres in the less dense North. The spatial impacts on GDP and population roughly balance, meaning that the effects on GDP per capita are minimal.

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