Political Geography and Pre-Industrial Development: A Theory and Evidence for Europe 1000-1850

87 Pages Posted: 13 May 2019

See all articles by Matteo Cervellati

Matteo Cervellati

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Instituto de Análisis Económic (IAE) Barcelona

Sara Lazzaroni

University of Bologna

Giovanni Prarolo

University of Bologna; University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA)

Paolo Vanin

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2019

Abstract

We present a theory of the drivers, and a measurement of the patterns, of the evolution of historical sovereign polities over time and space in Europe, and we study their impact on pre-industrial urban development. We model changing state capacity and rule of law over space as resulting from strategic interactions between ruling elites. We characterize the endogenous evolution of equilibrium number, size, borders and type of polities. The framework characterizes the timing and location of appearance (and disappearance) of city states and the transition from domain reigns to modern territorial states. The model predicts the emergence of hard borders and a reversal in the role of locations' centrality for development. We measure the territorial evolution of sovereign polities by assembling geo-referenced yearly panel data on the political geography of each location in Europe for the period 1000-1850 and we investigate its implications for pre-industrial urban growth. Results document a changing role of polity size and type and a reversal of centrality from across to within polities which is associated to increasing importance of domestic market potential after the XVII century.

Keywords: Borders, Centrality and Location, market potential, Pre-Industrial Development, Sovereign Polities, Space and Territorial Control

Suggested Citation

Cervellati, Matteo and Lazzaroni, Sara and Prarolo, Giovanni and Vanin, Paolo, Political Geography and Pre-Industrial Development: A Theory and Evidence for Europe 1000-1850 (May 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13719, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3387308

Matteo Cervellati (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna, 40125
Italy
+39-2092605 (Phone)
+39-2092664 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/

Instituto de Análisis Económic (IAE) Barcelona

Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193
Spain

Sara Lazzaroni

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

Giovanni Prarolo

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www2.dse.unibo.it/prarolo/

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, Mi 20122
Italy

Paolo Vanin

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, BO 40126
Italy
+39-0512098120 (Phone)
+39-0512098040 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/paolovanin/

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