EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Economic Impact of the Black Death

Remi Jedwab (), Noel Johnson () and Mark Koyama ()

Working Papers from The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy

Abstract: *This paper is part of a Symposium organized by Dr. Remi Jedwab of the George Washington University that will appear in the Journal of Economic Literature.* The Black Death was the largest demographic shock in European history. We review the evidence for the origins, spread, and mortality of the disease. We document that it was a plausibly exogenous shock to the European economy and trace out its aggregate and local impacts in both the short-run and the long-run. The initial effect of the plague was highly disruptive. Wages and per capita income rose. But, in the long-run, this rise was only sustained in some parts of Europe. The other indirect long-run effects of the Black Death are associated with the growth of Europe relative to the rest of the world, especially Asia and the Middle East (the Great Divergence), a shift in the economic geography of Europe towards the Northwest (the Little Divergence), the demise of serfdom in Western Europe, a decline in the authority of religious institutions, and the emergence of stronger states. Finally, avenues for future research are laid out.

Keywords: Pandemics; Black Death; Institutions; Cities; Urbanization; Malthusian Theory; Demography; Long-Run Growth; Middle Ages; Europe; Asia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N00 N13 I15 I14 J11 O10 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 52 pages
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-gro, nep-his and nep-lab
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www2.gwu.edu/~iiep/assets/docs/papers/2020WP/JedwabIIEP2020-14.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Economic Impact of the Black Death (2020) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2020-14

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Kyle Renner ().

 
Page updated 2021-04-12
Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2020-14