No. 1/2014:The more the merrier? Evidence on quality of life and population size using historical mines


I attempt to find the causal effect of endogenous population size on quality of life. Quantity and quality of consumer amenities would increase with urban scale if not offset by congestion effects. To deal with endogeneity, I utilize a quasi-experimental design where I exploit the exogenous spatial distribution of mineral resources with Norwegian historical mines from the 12th till the 19th century. The findings suggest persistence in population patterns from early industrialization, and a positive urban scale effect on quality of life that pass multiple tests of confounding factors.