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Epidemic trade

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  • Börner, Lars
  • Severgnini, Battista

Abstract

This paper studies the spread of the Black Death as a proxy for the ow of medieval trade between 1346 and 1351. The Black Death struck most areas of Europe and the wider Mediterranean. Based on a modified version of the gravity model, we estimate the speed (in kilometers per day) of transmission of the disease between the transmitting and the receiving cities. We find that the speed depends on distance, political borders, and on the political importance of a city. Furthermore, variables related to the means of transportation like rivers and the sea, religious seasons such as Lent and Advent, and geographical position are of substantial significance. These results are the first to enable us to identify and quantify key variables of medieval trade ows based on an empirical trade model. These results shed new light on many qualitative debates on the importance and causes of medieval trade. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2011/12.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201112

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Keywords: Trade; Middle Ages; Black Death; Gravity model; Poisson regression;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Contagio? Quale Contagio?
    by Paolo Manasse in Back-Of-The-Envelope Economics on 2012-05-17 20:37:00
  2. Contagion? What Contagion?
    by Paolo Manasse in Back-Of-The-Envelope Economics on 2012-05-18 20:12:00
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Cited by:
  1. Wahl, Fabian, 2013. "Does medieval trade still matter? Historical trade centers, agglomeration and contemporary economic development," FZID Discussion Papers, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) 82-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  2. Börner, Lars & Severgnini, Battista, 2011. "Epidemic trade," Discussion Papers, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics 2011/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

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