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Jewish communities and city growth in preindustrial Europe

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  • Johnson, Noel D.
  • Koyama, Mark

Abstract

We study whether cities with Jewish communities grew faster than cities without Jewish communities in Europe between 1400 and 1850. We match data on city populations from Bairoch (1988) with data on the presence of a Jewish community from Roth and Wigoder (2007). Our difference-in-differences results indicate that cities with Jewish communities grew about 30% faster than comparable cities without Jewish communities. To establish causality, we create time-varying instrumental variables which rely only on the spatially extended network of Jewish communities in order to predict Jewish presence in a given city. We provide evidence that the advantage of cities with Jewish communities stemmed in part from Jewish emancipation and their ability to exploit increases in market access after 1600.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2017. "Jewish communities and city growth in preindustrial Europe," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 339-354.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:339-354
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.09.002
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    3. Andreas Link, 2023. "The Fall of Constantinople and the Rise of the West," Working Papers 223, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    4. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2020. "Medieval Cities Through the Lens of Urban Economic Theories," Working Papers 2020-9, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    5. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2022. "The Economic Impact of the Black Death," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 132-178, March.
    6. Greif, Gavin, 2022. "Merchants, proto-firms, and the German industrialization: the commercial determinants of nineteenth century town growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 113346, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Hornung, Erik, 2019. "Diasporas, diversity, and economic activity: Evidence from 18th-century Berlin," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-1.
    8. Irena Grosfeld & Seyhun Orcan Sakalli & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2020. "Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Russian Empire," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 289-342.
    9. Hanlon, W.Walker & Heblich, Stephan, 2022. "History and urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    10. Theresa Finley & Mark Koyama, 2018. "Plague, Politics, and Pogroms: The Black Death, the Rule of Law, and the Persecution of Jews in the Holy Roman Empire," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 253-277.
    11. Jean-Paul Carvalho & Mark Koyama & Michael Sacks, 2017. "Education, identity, and community: lessons from Jewish emancipation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 119-143, April.
    12. Link, Andreas, 2023. "The Fall of Constantinople and the Rise of the West," VfS Annual Conference 2023 (Regensburg): Growth and the "sociale Frage" 277619, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata & Wei, Jinlin, 2021. "Railways and cities in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 559, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    14. Cemal Eren Arbatli & Gunes Gokmen, 2016. "Minorities, Human Capital and Long-Run Development: Persistence of Armenian and Greek Influence in Turkey," CESifo Working Paper Series 6268, CESifo.
    15. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2019. "Negative shocks and mass persecutions: evidence from the Black Death," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 345-395, December.
    16. Cemal Eren Arbatlı & Gunes Gokmen, 2023. "Human capital transfers and sub-national development: Armenian and Greek legacy in post-expulsion Turkey," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 1-43, March.
    17. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata & Wei, Jinlin, 2021. "Railways and cities in India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1349, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    18. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata & Wei, Jinlin, 2023. "Railways and cities in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 161(C).
    19. Walker, Sarah, 2018. "Cultural barriers to market integration: Evidence from 19th century Austria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1122-1145.
    20. Lech E. Gruszecki & Alina Betlej & Bartosz Jozwik & Andrzej Pietrzak, 2021. "Influence of Religious Faith on Economic Growth and the Environment," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 699-715.
    21. Belmonte, Alessandro & Di Lillo, Armando, 2021. "Backlash against affirmative action: Evidence from the South Tyrolean package," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    22. Jedwab, Remi & Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2022. "Medieval cities through the lens of urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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