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The Development of Cities in Italy 1300 – 1861

Author

Listed:
  • Maarten Bosker
  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Herman de Jong
  • Marc Schramm

Abstract

The evolution of city growth is usually studied for relatively short time periods. The rise and decline of cities is, however, typically a process that takes many decades or even centuries. In this paper we study the evolution of Italian cities over the period 1300-1861. The first contribution of our paper is that we use various descriptive statistics on individual city sizes and the city-size distribution as a whole to highlight the main characteristics of Italy’s urban system such as the differences between northern and southern Italy. Our second, and main, contribution is that our data allow for panel estimation where city-size is regressed on various geographical, political and other determinants of city size for the period 1300-1861. We show that, although large shocks such as the plague epidemics are clearly visible in the data, the main determinants of Italy’s city growth invariably are physical geography and political predominance. Also the North-South difference turns out to be important.

Suggested Citation

  • Maarten Bosker & Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Herman de Jong & Marc Schramm, 2007. "The Development of Cities in Italy 1300 – 1861," CESifo Working Paper Series 1893, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1893
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1893.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Fujita,Masahisa & Thisse,Jacques-François, 2013. "Economics of Agglomeration," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107001411, April.
    4. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
    5. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2011. "Rank - 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39, January.
    6. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
    7. Malanima, Paolo, 2005. "Urbanisation and the Italian economy during the last millennium," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 97-122, April.
    8. Broadberry, Stephen N & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2005. "The Early Modern Great Divergence: Wages, Prices and Economic Development in Europe and Asia, 1500-1800," CEPR Discussion Papers 4947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    1. repec:eee:ememar:v:32:y:2017:i:c:p:200-219 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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    1. Historical Economic Geography

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