Medieval Cities Through the Lens of Urban Economic Theories
Noel Islam and
Mark Koyama ()
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Remi Jedwab: George Washington University
Noel Islam: George Mason University
Working Papers from The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy
We draw on theories and empirical findings from urban economics to explore and explain patterns of city growth in the Middle Ages (c. 800-1500 CE). We discuss how agricultural development and physical geography determined the location and size of cities during the medieval period. We also consider the relative importance of economies of scale, agglomeration, and human capital spillovers in medieval cities and discuss how their growth was limited by disamenities and constraints on mobility. We discuss how medieval cities responded to shocks such as the Black Death and describe how institutions became increasingly important in determining their trajectories. Avenues for future research are also laid out.
Keywords: Medieval Era; City Growth; Urbanization; Food Surplus Hypothesis; Agglomeration Effects; Labor Mobility; Pandemics; Institutions; Europe; Asia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R11 R12 R19 N9 N93 N95 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-his and nep-ure
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Working Paper: Medieval Cities Through the Lens of Urban Economic Theories (2020)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2020-9
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