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Institutions Matter: But So Does History—A Comparison of Mediaeval Dubrovnik with Other Dalmatian Cities

Oleh Havrylyshyn ()
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Oleh Havrylyshyn: Carleton University

Chapter 8 in The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics, 2021, pp 185-212 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract Following Acemoglu and Robinson (2012, Why Nations Fail: Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, Crown Publishers), Havrylyshyn and Srzentic (2015, Institutions Always ‘Mattered’. Explaining Prosperity in Mediaeval Ragusa (Dubrovnik), Palgrave) showed good institutions that explained the prosperity of tiny Ragusa (today’s Dubrovnik). Compiling data for the period twelfth to seventeenth century, on performance, institutions, and social programs, they demonstrated that indeed Ragusa had market-friendly institutions. This chapter goes further asking: why didn’t the older city-states of Dalmatia like Split or Zadar succeed as Ragusa did? New data on institutions show Ragusa was earlier to put in place good institutions, but the others were not far behind. Thus institutions alone do not explain Ragusa’s greater success; they were a necessary but not sufficient condition. The explanation may be: history matters. Venice ruled all Dalmatia except Ragusa and monopolized trade restricting rights of these cities.

Keywords: Dubrovnik; Ragusa; Maritime trade; Institutions; Social fairness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-50888-3_8

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