Princes and Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution
NBER Working Paper No. 4274
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.
Published: Journal of Law and Economics, October 1993, vol. xxxvi, no. 2, p. 671-702