Accounting for the ‘Little Divergence’

This blog post was written by AlexandraM. de Pleijt, post doc at Utrecht University What drove economic growth in pre-industrial Europe, 1300-1800?  The Industrial Revolution is arguably the most important break in global economic history, separating a world of at best very modest improvements in real incomes from the period of ‘modern economic growth’. Thanks to […]

Long Run Growth in Spain: Evidence from Historical National Accounts

Leandro Prados de la Escosura (Universidad Carlos III, CEPR, Groningen, and CAGE) Can we rely on historical estimates of GDP to assess output and material welfare in the long run?  In the early days of modern economic quantification, Kuznets (1952: 16-17), noticed the “tendency to shrink from long-term estimates” on the grounds of “the increasing inadequacy […]

The mining sectors in Chile and Norway, ca. 1870-1940: the development of a knowledge gap

Kristin Ranestad is a post-doc atUniversity of Olso New EHES working paper Chile and Norway are two ‘natural resource intensive economies’, which have had different development trajectories, yet are closely similar in industrial structure and geophysical conditions.  The questions of how and why Chile and Norway have developed so differently are explored through an in-depth […]

You Reap What You Know: Observability of Soil Quality, and Political Fragmentation

Thilo Hunig is  PhD student atHumboldt University, Berlin New EHES working paper Geographic conditions limited medieval rulers in their attempts to extract their peasants’ agricultural product. Soil quality determines agricultural output, and a high spatial variation of the quality makes it hard to observe what peasants could potentially harvest. If observability is bad, peasants can […]

The revealed comparative advantages of late-Victorian Britain

This blog post was written byBrian Varian, PhD candidate at LSE It has been argued that the manufacturing comparative advantages of late-Victorian Britain rested in the relatively labour-intensive industries. However, one problem with this argument is that Britain’s manufacturing comparative advantages have never been properly and systematically measured for any period prior to the twentieth […]

Knowledge Shocks Diffusion and the Resilience of Regional Inequality

This blog post was written byAlexandra Lopez-Cermeno, PhD, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid In the last decades, economic historians have shown that high-value added sectors locate in particular regions fostering growth at the expense of the de-industrialization of the rest of the economy. Part of the explanation is that comparative advantage comes from large population […]

Capital shares and income inequality in the long run

Is there any relationship between the distribution of national income between capital and labour – factor shares, functional income distribution – and income inequality in terms of personal income distribution?Very broadly, there are two types of income distribution. So-called functional income distribution concerns the distribution of national income between classes, according to income types: employees, capital […]

World trade, 1800-2015

Giovanni Federico is Professorin Economic History atUniversity of Pisa Parallels are often drawn between the Great Recession of the past decade and the economic turmoil of the interwar period. In terms of global trade, these comparisons are based on obsolete and incomplete data. In a new EHES Working paper, we re-estimates world trade since the […]

Spanish Land Reform in the 1930s: Economic Necessity or Political Opportunism?

Spanish land reform, involving the break-up of the large southern estates, was a central question in Spanish politics during the first decades of the twentieth century. However, the historical debate on this issue has been hampered by the absence of information on access to land. A new EHES working paper is the first that provides quantitative […]