From Baghdad to London: The Dynamics of Urban Growth in Europe and the Arab World, 800-1800
AbstractOn the basis of a large (new) dataset of cities in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East in the millennium between 800 and 1800, we try to provide an answer to the question why, during this millennium, the urban center of gravity moved from Iraq (or more generally the Arab world) to Western Europe and to the shores of the Atlantic (during the 17th and 18th century) in particular. We study the characteristics of the European and Arab urban systems involved, amongst others focusing on the interaction between cities, and explain why one system was much more dynamic in the long run than the other. Also we assess the importance of various geographical, religious and institutional factors as the driving forces of urban expansion. Overall, we provide a better understanding of the dynamics of urban growth in the centuries leading up to the Industrial Revolution and an answer to the question why London, an economic backwater in 800, was able to overtake Baghdad, in 800 the thriving capital of the Abbasid caliphate, as the largest city in this part of the world.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6833.
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
- N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-05-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2008-05-31 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-GEO-2008-05-31 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-HIS-2008-05-31 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-URE-2008-05-31 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A, 2003.
"The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3712, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2002. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon H. & Robinson, James A., 2003. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutioanl Change and Economic Growth," Working papers 4269-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Redding, Stephen J & Venables, Anthony J., 2000.
"Economic Geography and International Inequality,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Carol H. Shiue & Wolfgang Keller, 2004.
"Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution,"
NBER Working Papers
10778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carol H. Shiue & Wolfgang Keller, 2007. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1189-1216, September.
- Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2004. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," CEPR Discussion Papers 4420, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kuran, Timur, 2003. "The Islamic Commercial Crisis: Institutional Roots of Economic Underdevelopment in the Middle East," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(02), pages 414-446, June.
- Bosker, Maarten & Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & De Jong, Herman & Schramm, Marc, 2008. "Ports, plagues and politics: explaining Italian city growth 1300–1861," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 97-131, April.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005.
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
- Rubin, Jared, 2011. "Printing and Protestants: reforming the economics of the Reformation," MPRA Paper 31267, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Charles van Marrewijk & Abdella Oumer, 2011. "The Positive Border Effect of EU Integration," CESifo Working Paper Series 3335, CESifo Group Munich.
- Cantoni, Davide & Yuchtman, Noam, 2012.
"Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution,"
Discussion Papers in Economics
12896, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Davide Cantoni & Noam Yuchtman, 2013. "Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution," CESifo Working Paper Series 4452, CESifo Group Munich.
- Noam Yuchtman & Davide Cantoni, 2013. "Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution," 2013 Meeting Papers 95, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Davide Cantoni & Noam Yuchtman, 2012. "Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution," NBER Working Papers 17979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anderson, R. Warren & Johnson, Noel D & Koyama, Mark, 2013. "From the Persecuting to the Protective State? Jewish Expulsions and Weather Shocks from 1100 to 1800," MPRA Paper 44228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Börner, Lars & Severgnini, Battista, 2011.
2011/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
- Kristian GIESEN & Jens SÜDEKUM, 2012. "The French Overall City Size Distribution," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 36, pages 107-126.
- Nico Voigtländer & Joachim Voth, 2008. "The three horsemen of riches: Plague, war and urbanization in early modern Europe," Economics Working Papers 1115, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2012.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.