A Review Essay of Escape From Rome
The Journal of Economic Literature, Forthcoming
27 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 25, 2020
This essay reviews Escape from Rome by Walter Scheidel. It examines the argument that Europe's persistent fragmentation following the collapse of the Rome empire is responsible for the origins of the modern world. First, I consider Scheidel's argument that the rise of Rome at the end of the first millennium BCE was relatively over-determined, but that once Rome fell, it was highly unlikely for any subsequent empire to dominate Europe. Second, I examine the institutional consequences of this divergence in state-building. Finally, I reflect on the role of counter-factual in history.
Keywords: Economic History, Counterfactual, Institutions, Rome
JEL Classification: N0, N4, N43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation