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Land Grants to American Railroads: Social Cost or Social Benefit?
Lloyd J. Mercer
The Business History Review
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Summer, 1969), pp. 134-151
Published by: The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3112269
Page Count: 18
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Railway systems, Investment return rates, Public land, Financial investments, Subsidies, Land economics, Net income, Capital costs, Agricultural land, Economic capital
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Every schoolboy knows that a large fraction of the American public domain was granted to pioneer railroads in the nineteenth century. But was the federal land-grant policy socially beneficial? Professor Mercer provides one imaginative answer based upon an analysis of the economic issues involved and estimates of the private and social rates of return on the investment in the subsidized railroads.
The Business History Review © 1969 The President and Fellows of Harvard College