Transport and Economic Development in Europe, 1789–1914

  • Patrick O’Brien
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


European economic growth, which accelerated in the second half of the eighteenth century, was accompanied by an expansion in the supply of transportation. Demand for transport services increased when industrialists and farmers purchased their inputs from a resource base which widened in space and as they sold a growing proportion of their output on markets at an ever greater distance from their enterprises. As commodity output went up, the share marketed increased even more rapidly because improvements in transport made it possible to sell further afield and because specialisation (a major impetus to economic growth between 1789 and 1914) led to more trade between firms, farms and industries. In the traditional economy of early modern Europe production tended to occur within integrated forms of enterprise geographically concentrated in well defined regions. But over the nineteenth century the co-ordination of production came to be achieved through organised commodity and input markets serviced by extended and increasingly efficient transport and distribution networks.


Nineteenth Century Total Factor Productivity Transport Sector Economic History Transport Service 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© St Antony’s College, Oxford 1983

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  • Patrick O’Brien

There are no affiliations available

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