The Organization of Government in Pre-Industrial Europe

89 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2005

See all articles by Meir Kohn

Meir Kohn

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2005


Pre-industrial Europe saw a relatively rapid evolution of systems of government. Feudalism gave way to medieval constitutional government and this gave way in turn either to the imperial state or to associational government. This rapid evolution was driven by two interrelated processes - one of economic growth and development, the other of struggle and conflict among governments. Our purpose here is to understand how these processes molded the way government was organized. Differences across systems of government in the organization of government accounted for much of the difference in the economic environment they created and consequently in their subsequent economic development.

Keywords: predatory government, federalism, principle-agent problems, pre-industrial Europe

JEL Classification: N43, H11, H83, H77

Suggested Citation

Kohn, Meir G., The Organization of Government in Pre-Industrial Europe (November 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Meir G. Kohn (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

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Hanover, NH 03755
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