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Of mice and merchants: trade and growth in the Iron Age

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  • Jan David Bakker
  • Stephan Maurer
  • Jörn-Steffen Pischke
  • Ferdinand Rauch

Abstract

We study the causal connection between trade and development using one of the earliest massive trade expansions: the first systematic crossing of open seas in the Mediterranean during the time of the Phoenicians. We construct a measure of connectedness along the shores of the sea. This connectivity varies with the shape of the coast, the location of islands, and the distance to the opposing shore. We relate connectedness to local growth, which we measure using the presence of archaeological sites in an area. We find an association between better connected locations and archaeological sites during the Iron Age, at a time when sailors began to cross open water very routinely and on a big scale. We corroborate these findings at the level of the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan David Bakker & Stephan Maurer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Ferdinand Rauch, 2018. "Of mice and merchants: trade and growth in the Iron Age," CEP Discussion Papers dp1558, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1558
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan E. Maurer & Ferdinand Rauch, 2019. "Economic geography aspects of the Panama Canal," CEP Discussion Papers dp1633, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2022. "Urban economics in a historical perspective: Recovering data with machine learning," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    3. Carlo Altomonte & Laura Bonacorsi & Italo Colantobe, 2018. "Trade and Growth in the Age of Global Value Chains," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1897, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    4. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Mark Koyama & Youhong Lin & Tuan-Hwee Sng, 2020. "The Fractured-Land Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 27774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Adam Izdebski & Tymon Słoczyński & Anton Bonnier & Grzegorz Koloch & Katerina Kouli, 2020. "Landscape Change and Trade in Ancient Greece: Evidence from Pollen Data," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(632), pages 2596-2618.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    urbanization; locational fundamentals; trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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