Business Fluctuations in Imperial Austria's Regions, 1867-1913: New Evidence
This paper presents annual estimates of total and per-capita GDP at 1910 prices for the regions of Imperial Austria from the origin of the Dual Monarchy (1867) to the eve of WWI (1913). The time paths of regional GDP are estimated from the yield of the tax on the transfer of real and financial property which is itself very highly correlated with the Schulze (2007) estimates of regional GDP for census years (1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, and 1910). The relative continuity or discontinuity of per-capita GDP growth partitions Austria's regions into two groups. Clear evidence of discontinuity (a "take-off") is present in Carniola, Carinthia, Salzburg, Styria, Littoral, Tyrol, and to some extent Moravia. In Lower and Upper Austria, Bohemia, Silesia, Galicia, Bukovina, and Dalmatia there is instead no evidence of structural break in their growth rates. Significant drops in the level of per-capita GDP do occur (as in Lower Austria and Bohemia after the 1873 financial crash) but have moderate effects on the growth of subsequent years. Regional (per-capita) inequality is also evaluated using standard measures. The coefficient of variation and Theil index follow a U-shaped curve: after a decline lasted about 15 years they both rise and point to, from ca. 1885, growing divergence.
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