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Military conflict and the rise of urban Europe

Author

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  • Mark Dincecco

    (University of Michigan)

  • Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato

    (IMT Lucca)

Abstract

We present new evidence about the relationship between military conflict and city population growth in Europe from the fall of Charlemagne’s empire to the start of the Industrial Revolution. Military conflict was a main feature of European history. We argue that cities were safe harbors from conflict threats. To test this argument, we construct a novel database that geocodes the locations of more than 800 conflicts between 800 and 1799. We find a significant, positive, and robust relationship that runs from conflict exposure to city population growth. Our analysis suggests that military conflict played a key role in the rise of urban Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Dincecco & Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato, 2016. "Military conflict and the rise of urban Europe," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 259-282, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:21:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10887-016-9129-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-016-9129-4
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    2. David Cuberes & Rafael González-Val, 2017. "The effect of the Spanish Reconquest on Iberian cities," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 58(3), pages 375-416, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Holtermann, Linus & Rische, Marie-Christin, 2020. "The Subnational Effect of Temperature on Economic Production: A Disaggregated Analysis in European Regions," MPRA Paper 104606, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Liam Brunt & Cecilia García-Peñalosa, 2021. "Urbanisation and the onset of modern economic growth," Working Papers halshs-03123659, HAL.
    6. Antonio Accetturo & Andrea Lamorgese & Sauro Mocetti & Paolo Sestito, 2019. "Local Development, Urban Economies and Aggregate Growth," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 5(2), pages 191-204, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Oto-Peralías, Daniel, 2020. "Frontiers, warfare and economic geography: The case of Spain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    9. Liam Brunt & Cecilia García-Peñalosa, 2021. "Urbanisation and the onset of modern economic growth," AMSE Working Papers 2101, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    10. Thilo R. Huning & Fabian Wahl, 2016. "You Reap What You Know: Observability of Soil Quality, and Political Fragmentation," Working Papers 0101, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    11. Traviss Cassidy & Mark Dincecco & Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato, 2015. "The Economic Legacy of Warfare: Evidence from European Regions," Working Papers 6/2015, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Jul 2015.
    12. Antonio Accetturo & Sauro Mocetti, 2019. "Historical Origins and Developments of Italian Cities," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 5(2), pages 205-222, July.
    13. Ennio E. Piano, 2019. "State capacity and public choice: a critical survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 178(1), pages 289-309, January.
    14. Matthias Flückiger & Markus Ludwig, 2019. "Transport infrastructure, growth and persistence: The rise and demise of the Sui Canal," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(2), pages 624-666, May.
    15. Leandro de Magalhaes & Francesco Giovannoni, 2019. "War and the Rise of Parliaments," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 19/709, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    16. Jedwab, Remi & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2015. "Urbanization without growth in historical perspective," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-21.
    17. Schaff, Felix, 2020. "When ‘the state made war’, what happened to economic inequality? Evidence from preindustrial Germany (c.1400-1800)," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 107046, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Timothy Blackwell & Sebastian Kohl, 2018. "Urban heritages: How history and housing finance matter to housing form and homeownership rates," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 55(16), pages 3669-3688, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Warfare; Cities; Political and economic development; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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