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Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution

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  • De Long, J Bradford
  • Shleifer, Andrei

Abstract

As measured by the pace of city growth in western Europe from 1000 to 1800. absolutist monarchs stunted the growth of commerce and industry. A region ruled by an absolutist prince saw its total urban population shrink by one hundred thousand people per century relative to a region without absolutist government. This might be explained by higher rates of taxation under revenue-maximizing absolutist governments than under non-absolutist governments. which care more about general economic prosperity and less about State revenue.
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Suggested Citation

  • De Long, J Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei, 1993. "Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 671-702, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:36:y:1993:i:2:p:671-702
    DOI: 10.1086/467294
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    2. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General

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