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The Character of growth before 'modern economics growth'? The GDP of Holland between 1347 and 1807

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Author Info

  • Jan Luiten van Zanden
  • Bas van Leeuwen

Abstract

On the basis of a newly constructed dataset of the national accounts of the province of Holland in the period between 1347 and 1800, we analyze the pattern of growth in this region, which was one of the most prosperous and dynamic parts of the pre modern European economy. We demonstrate that this economy was characterized by almost continuous but highly unstable economic growth caused mainly by exogenous shocks related to international trade and shipping, and harvest fluctuations. The causes of this growth vary over time. Yet, the start of the Golden Age was characterized by the increase of total factor productivity. TFP-growth was an important factor behind growth in the period until the 1620s, was negative during the middle decades of the 17th century, and became positive again after the 1660s. This suggests a surge of technological change during the 1540-1620 period, followed by much more incremental changes in the next two centuries.

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File URL: http://www.cgeh.nl/sites/default/files/WorkingPapers/CGEH.WP_.No4_.vanZandenvanLeeuwen.mar2011.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History in its series Working Papers with number 0004.

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Length: 82 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0004

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Postal: University of Utrecht, Drift 10, The Netherlands
Web page: http://www.cgeh.nl
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Keywords: GDP; national accounts; Holland; economic growth; historical development;

References

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  1. BAS J. P. van BAVEL & JAN LUITEN van ZANDEN, 2004. "The jump-start of the Holland economy during the late-medieval crisis, c.1350-c.1500 -super-1 ," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, Economic History Society, vol. 57(3), pages 503-532, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Carlos Álvarez-Nogal & Leandro Prados De La Escosura, 2013. "The rise and fall of Spain (1270–1850)," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, Economic History Society, vol. 66(1), pages 1-37, 02.
  2. Johan Fourie & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2012. "GDP in the Dutch Cape Colony: The national accounts of a slave-based society," Working Papers, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History 0030, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  3. Koen Deconinck & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2012. "War, Taxes, and Borders:How Beer Created Belgium," LICOS Discussion Papers, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven 30812, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.

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