Law, Human Capital and the Emergence of Free City-States in Medieval Italy

27 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018

See all articles by Marianna Belloc

Marianna Belloc

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics

Francesco Drago

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR

Roberto Galbiati

Sciences Po

Date Written: November 09, 2017

Abstract

In this paper, we study how the birth of the first universities in Italy affected the emergence of the Italian free cities-states (the commune) in the period 1000-1300 a.d. Exploiting a panel dataset of 121 cities, we show that after the foundation of a new university the distance between each city in the sample and the university negatively predicts the timing of the birth of communal institutions in the city. Our evidence is consistent with the idea that universities in the Middle Ages provided the necessary juridical knowledge and skills to build legal capacity and develop broader-based institutions.

Keywords: institutional change, education, human capital accumulation, communal movement

JEL Classification: I200, I230, K010, N330

Suggested Citation

Belloc, Marianna and Drago, Francesco and Galbiati, Roberto, Law, Human Capital and the Emergence of Free City-States in Medieval Italy (November 09, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6719. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3098272

Marianna Belloc (Contact Author)

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics ( email )

Via del Castro Laurenziano 9
Rome, 00161
Italy

Francesco Drago

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR ( email )

Piazza Pugliatti 1
Messina
Italy

Roberto Galbiati

Sciences Po ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris Cedex 07, 75337
France

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