The Effect of Transport Infrastructure on Home Production Activity: Evidence from Rural New York, 1825-1845

This paper examines the home production activities of newly formed and long established households in rural New York over a twenty year period after the Erie Canal was built.

It shows that newly established households had lower home production activities than long established households resident in the same area, conditional on the size, age, and land-owning characteristics of the households. Thus some of the decline in aggregate production was due to the arrival of new, differently behaving households, rather than changing behaviour of established households. However, long established households eventually copied their new neighbours, reducing their home production activities to similar levels.