A Review Essay of Escape From Rome

The Journal of Economic Literature, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2020

See all articles by Mark Koyama

Mark Koyama

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: February 25, 2020

Abstract

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

Koyama, Mark, A Review Essay of Escape From Rome (February 25, 2020). The Journal of Economic Literature, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3544313

Mark Koyama (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~mkoyama2/About.html

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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