W. Walker Hanlon

Associate Professor Department of Economics Northwestern University
42211 Campus Dr. Evanston, IL 60208 whanlon@northwestern.edu




  • Economic History (Northwestern)


  • Introductory Microeconomics (NYU Stern, undergraduate)
  • Urban Economics (UCLA, Princeton, undergraduate) Syllabus
  • European Economic History (UCLA, graduate) Syllabus
  • A History of Health in Cities (UCLA, freshman seminar) Syllabus


Published and Accepted Papers

(reverse chronological order)

Historical Newspaper Data: A Researcher's Guide and Toolkit

With Brian Beach

Status: Forthcoming in Explorations in Economic History

Description: Review article providing tools for researchers interested in working with digitized historical newspaper databases.

Culture and the Historical Fertility Transition (with Brian Beach)

Review of Economic Studies, July 2023, 90(4), 1669-1700.

Coverage: VoxEU

London Fog: A Century of Pollution and Mortality, 1866-1965

Forthcoming, Review of Economics and Statistics

Spillover Effects of IP Protection in the Inter-war Aircraft Industry (with Taylor Jaworski)

Economic Journal, July 2022, 132(645), 1824-1851.

Coverage: VoxEU

Recessions, Mortality, and Migration Bias: Evidence from the Lancashire Cotton Famine (with V. Arthi and B. Beach)

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, April 2022, 14(2), 228-255.

Previously circulated as "Estimating the Recession-Mortality Relationship when Migration Matters"

History and Urban Economics (Review article, with Stephan Heblich)

Regional Science and Urban Economics, May 2022, vol. 94.

Temperature, Disease, and Death in London: Analyzing Weekly Data for the Century from 1866-1965 (with Casper Worm Hansen and Jake Kantor)

Journal of Economic History, March 2021, Vol. 81, No. 1, pp. 40-80.

Coverage: VoxEU

Replication files

The Persistent Effect of Temporary Input Cost Advantages in Shipbuilding, 1850-1911

Journal of the European Economic Association , December 2020, 18(6), pp. 3173-3209.

Replication files

Coal Smoke, City Growth, and the Costs of the Industrial Revolution

Economic Journal, February 2020, 130(626), pp. 462-488.

Replication files

Coal Smoke and Mortality in an Early Industrial Economy (with Brian Beach)

Economic Journal, November 2018, 128(615), pp. 2652-2675.

Subsumes "Pollution and Mortality in the 19th Century"

Coverage: VoxDev

Agglomeration: A Long-Run Panel Data Approach (with Antonio Miscio)

Journal of Urban Economics , Vol. 99, May 2017, pp. 1-14.

Data Appendix: See Data Resources section below

Replication files

Book Review: The Pox of Liberty: How the Constitution Left Americans Rich, Free, and Prone to Infection. By Werner Troesken.

Journal of Economic History Dec. 2016, v. 76 no. 4, pp. 1240-1242

Temporary Shocks and Persistent Effects in Urban Economies: Evidence from British Cities after the U.S. Civil War

Review of Economics & Statistics , March 2017, 99(1), p. 67-79.

Subsumes "Industry Connections and the Geographic Location of Economic Activity"

Data & Replication Files

Killer Cities: Past and Present (with Yuan Tian)

American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings , May 2015, 105(5), pp. 570-575

Online Appendix   Data & Replication Files

Do better monitoring institutions increase leadership quality in community organizations? Evidence from Uganda. -- with Guy Grossman

American Journal of Political Science , July 2014, v. 58, pp. 669-686.

Working Papers

A Penny for Your Thoughts

With Stephan Heblich, Ferdinando Monte, Martin Schmitz

Status: Updated draft posted May 18, 2022

Why Britain? The Right Place (in the Technology Space) at the Right Time

Latest draft: NBER Summer Institute version

With Carl Hallmann and Lukas Rosenberger

Bridging Science and Technology During the Industrial Revolution

Status: New draft posted October 16, 2023

Older unpublished working papers

Endogenous City Disamenities: Lessons from Industrial Pollution in 19th Century Britain

Available from the Ziman Center Working Paper Series here

This paper was a precursor to "Coal Smoke and the Costs of the Industrial Revolution"

Pollution and Maternal Mortality: Evidence from the London Fog (with Katherin Sudol)

Status: New draft completed July 9, 2018. Available upon request.

Data Resources

British Patent Classification Database, 1855-1882

Database of all British patents from 1855-1882 with technology classifications from the British Patent Office

Data and Documentation (Zip file)

British City-Industry Database, 1851-1911

Database describing employment in 26 private sector industries in 31 large English cities from 1851-1911

Version 2.0: Updated March, 2016

Documentation (PDF)   Data (Zip file)