Of Mice and Merchants: Trade and Growth in the Iron Age

57 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2018 Last revised: 1 May 2023

See all articles by Jan Bakker

Jan Bakker

University of Oxford

Stephan Maurer

Department of Economics, University of Konstanz

Jörn-Steffen Pischke

London School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ferdinand Rauch

University of Oxford

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Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

We study the causal connection between trade and development using one of the earliest massive trade expansions: the first systematic crossing of open seas in the Mediterranean during the time of the Phoenicians. We construct a measure of connectedness along the shores of the sea. This connectivity varies with the shape of the coast, the location of islands, and the distance to the opposing shore. We relate connectedness to local growth, which we measure using the presence of archaeological sites in an area. We find an association between better connected locations and archaeological sites during the Iron Age, at a time when sailors began to cross open water very routinely and on a big scale. We corroborate these findings at the level of the world.

Suggested Citation

Bakker, Jan and Maurer, Stephan and Pischke, Jörn-Steffen (Steve) and Rauch, Ferdinand, Of Mice and Merchants: Trade and Growth in the Iron Age (July 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24825, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3214371

Jan Bakker (Contact Author)

University of Oxford

Stephan Maurer

Department of Economics, University of Konstanz ( email )

Box D124
Konstanz, BW 78457
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/stephanernstmaurer/

Jörn-Steffen (Steve) Pischke

London School of Economics ( email )

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London WC2A 2AE
+44 207 955 6509 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7595 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ferdinand Rauch

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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