Regional income dispersion and market potential in the late nineteenth century Hapsburg Empire
This paper presents new regional GDP estimates for the Habsburg Monarchy and constructs measures of market potential for its 22 major regions. The paper argues that regional income differentials were significantly larger, that intra-empire catching-up of poor with rich regions was far more limited and that the empire’s Eastern regions were much further behind Western Europe than suggested in the historiography. The measurement of regional market potential proves strongly sensitive to the composition of foreign economies considered in the computations and the choice of regional ‘nodes’. Further, though being ‘remote’ imposed some penalty, there was no uniform relationship between changes in regions’ relative GDP position and their market potential.
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