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Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution

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  • J. Bradford De Long
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

As measured by the pace of city growth in western Europe from 1000 to 1800. absolutist monarchs stunted the growth of commerce and industry. A region ruled by an absolutist prince saw its total urban population shrink by one hundred thousand people per century relative to a region without absolutist government. This might be explained by higher rates of taxation under revenue-maximizing absolutist governments than under non-absolutist governments. which care more about general economic prosperity and less about State revenue.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4274.

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Date of creation: Feb 1993
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Publication status: published as Journal of Law and Economics, October 1993, vol. xxxvi, no. 2, p. 671-702
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4274

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  1. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293.
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