Coal and the European Industrial Revolution

Alan Fernihough, Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To what extent did growth during the Industrial Revolution depend on coal? We answer the question using a panel of European city sizes between 1300 and 1900. Prior to 1750 there was no relationship between proximity to coalfields and growth; after 1750 cities closer to coalfields grew substantially faster than those further away. We instrument for coal proximity using proximity to Carboniferous-era rock strata.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberueaa117
JournalThe Economic Journal
Early online date04 Nov 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 04 Nov 2020

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