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Bullet or Magnet? Rail and Ireland's post-Famine economic development

Date: 8th March 2019
Time: 14:00
Location: KB1-11, First Floor, Kemmy Business School
Department of Economics Seminar
Dr. Ronan Lyons
Trinity College Dublin
Bullet or Magnet? Rail and Ireland's post-Famine economic development
Date: Friday 8th March, 14h00-15h00
Venue: Kemmy Business School, KB1-11
All are welcome to attend.
Ronan Lyons is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Trinity College Dublin, where his research focuses on urban economics and economic history, in particular the evolution of housing markets over the long-run. His doctorate at Oxford was on Ireland’s housing market boom and bust of the early 21st Century and his work has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Housing Economics, Energy Economics, and Regional Science & Urban Economics. He is a frequent contributor to national and international media on Irish housing and the broader economy and he is also the author of the quarterly Daft.ie Reports on the Irish housing market and a weekly column on the housing market in the Sunday Independent.
The spread of economic activity within economies is a topic of great interest to voters and policymakers. An emerging literature examines the impact of rail infrastructure on economic outcomes within countries and has, to date, found positive effects on treated areas. However, there may be limits to the external validity of this consensus, given the very rapid population growth enjoyed by many countries when their rail network was introduced. The introduction of the rail network in Ireland in the nineteenth century, however, was done at a time of falling population. This paper examines the effect of rail on economic outcomes across Ireland's 3,430 census districts, using a variety of techniques. Results from propensity-weighted regressions, used to overcome simultaneity, suggest a positive but relatively modest impact of rail on population density, with population in areas that got access to rail falling by 10 percent less, over six decades, than in similar areas that did not.
Department of Economics Seminars