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This effect was clearly at work in California during the Gold Rush.  Gold was relatively one of the most abundant economic "goods" and transportation was expensive, not least because ships came to be abandoned in San Francisco Bay as crews jumped ship for the gold fields.  The long term beneficiaries were individuals such as Levi Strauss, Leland Stanford, Henry Huntington and William Crocker who used the opportunity to build railroads, banks and other economic infrastructure.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 18th, 2008 at 01:15:08 PM EST
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