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Of mice and merchants: connectedness and the location of economic activity in the Iron Age

Bakker, Jan, Maurer, Stephan ORCID: 0000-0003-2446-8575, Pischke, Jorn-Steffen ORCID: 0000-0002-6466-1874 and Rauch, Ferdinand (2020) Of mice and merchants: connectedness and the location of economic activity in the Iron Age. Review of Economics and Statistics. pp. 1-44. ISSN 0034-6535

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Identification Number: 10.1162/rest_a_00902


We study the causal relationship between geographic connectedness and development using one of the earliest massive trade expansions: the first systematic crossing of open seas in the Mediterranean during the time of the Phoenicians. We construct a geography based measure of connectedness along the shores of the sea. We relate connectedness to economic activity, which we measure using the presence of archaeological sites. We find an association between better connected locations and archaeological sites during the Iron Age, at a time when sailors began to cross open water routinely on a big scale. We corroborate these findings at world level.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F14 - Country and Industry Studies of Trade
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O47 - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output (Income) Convergence
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 16:24
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 05:09

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