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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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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Remi Jedwab & Noel D. Johnson & Mark Koyama, 2020. "The Economic Impact of the Black Death," Working Papers 2020-14, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    3. Hornung, Erik, 2019. "Diasporas, diversity, and economic activity: Evidence from 18th-century Berlin," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-1.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Walker, Sarah, 2018. "Cultural barriers to market integration: Evidence from 19th century Austria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 1122-1145.

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