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Standardised Latin and medieval economic growth

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  • Blum, Ulrich
  • Dudley, Leonard

Abstract

Traditional explanations for Western Europe s demographic growth in the High Middle Ages are unable to explain the rise in per capita income that accompanied observed population changes. Here, we examine the hypothesis that an innovation in information technology changed the optimal structure of contracts and raised the productivity of human capital. We present historical evidence for this thesis, offer a theoretical explanation based on transaction costs, and test the theory s predictions with data on urban demographic growth. We find that the information-technology hypothesis significantly increases the capacity of the neoclassical growth model to explain European economic expansion between 1000 and 1300.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 7 (2003)
Issue (Month): 02 (August)
Pages: 213-238

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:7:y:2003:i:02:p:213-238_00

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Cited by:
  1. Lars Boerner & Battista Severgnini, 2012. "Epidemic Trade," Working Papers 0024, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  2. Oliver Volckart, 2006. "The Influence of Information Costs on the Integration of Financial Markets: Northern Europe, 1350-1560," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-049, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  3. Mark Koyama, 2008. "Evading the 'Taint of Usury' Complex Contracts and Segmented Capital Markets," Economics Series Working Papers 412, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

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