A few days ago, Justin Callais (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and I received news that our paper on lighthouses in Antebellum America has been accepted at the European Economic Review. The abstract is below and the paper can be accessed here:
The study of the lighthouse features prominently in debates over the private provision of public services. However, little attention has been devoted to how lighthouse systems operated once governments took charge of its production. We exploit the fact that Antebellum America came close to the ideal textbook solution to providing public goods and we assess how the government allocated lighthouses before the Civil War. We find some evidence that the lighthouses were built according to commercial needs. However, we discover stronger evidence that political considerations played a role in selecting where lighthouses would be built.