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The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Simon Johnson
  • James Robinson

Abstract

The rise of Western Europe after 1500 is due largely to growth in countries with access to the Atlantic Ocean and with substantial trade with the New World, Africa, and Asia via the Atlantic. This trade and the associated colonialism affected Europe not only directly, but also indirectly by inducing institutional change. Where "initial" political institutions (those established before 1500) placed significant checks on the monarchy, the growth of Atlantic trade strengthened merchant groups by constraining the power of the monarchy, and helped merchants obtain changes in institutions to protect property rights. These changes were central to subsequent economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 546-579

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:546-579

Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054201305
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  1. Empirics and Institutions
    by dvollrath in The Growth Economics Blog on 2014-04-25 21:48:30
  2. Historical Population Estimates
    by Masa in Devecondata on 2007-05-20 15:28:00
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