Do Railroad and Telegraphs Have Independent Impacts on Antebellum Banking, Featuring an Aside about Replication and Us County Aggregation

Elisabeth Perlman, U.S. Census Bureau
Aaron Honsowetz, Bethany College
Tianyi Wang, University of Pittsburgh

This paper extends the results of "American Banking and the Transportation Revolution before the Civil War" (Atack, Jaremski, and Rousseau, 2014) focusing on banking in areas that received only a telegraph station or only a rail line. We expect that increase in the speed of information transmission that access to a telegraph provided to be important for banking (investment choices), and for this to be independent of the agricultural wealth that a railroad brings to an area. In addition to exploring the telegraph, this presentation will contain details of our replication of Atack, Jaremski, and Rousseau (2014). This replication is highly sensitive to county aggregation choices. As one might expect, county-level dummy variables are paralytically impacted. We hope to highlight what types of results are likely to be more affected by aggregation concerns.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 4. Ideas, Language, and Media