NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution

J. Bradford De Long, Andrei Shleifer

NBER Working Paper No. 4274
Issued in February 1993
NBER Program(s):   EFG

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4274

Published: Journal of Law and Economics, October 1993, vol. xxxvi, no. 2, p. 671-702 citation courtesy of

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