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The Economic Legacy of Warfare: Evidence from European Regions

Traviss Cassidy, Mark Dincecco and Massimiliano Onorato

No 6/2015, Working Papers from IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca

Abstract: Historical warfare in Europe inflicted numerous costs on rural populations. To reduce such costs, rural populations relocated behind the relative safety of urban fortifications. We argue that war-related urbanization had positive consequences for long-run regional economic development. We geocode the locations of more than 600 conflicts in early modern Europe. We find a positive and significant relationship between historical conflict exposure and regional economic development today. Our results are robust to a wide range of econometric techniques, alternative samples, and economic outcomes. Human capital accumulation stands out as one channel through which war-related urbanization translated into regional economic development. Our results highlight the military origins of European wealthy urban belt.

Keywords: Warfare; Cities; Political and Economic Development; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C20 N40 N90 O10 P48 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46
Date: 2015-07, Revised 2015-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-gro, nep-his, nep-pol and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

Published in EIC working papers series

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http://eprints.imtlucca.it/2728/1/WP_2015_6_march.pdf First version, 2015 (application/pdf)

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