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State capacity and public goods: institutional change,human capital and growth in early modern Germany

Dittmar, Jeremiah and Meisenzahl, Ralf R. (2016) State capacity and public goods: institutional change,human capital and growth in early modern Germany. CEP Discussion Paper (1418). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

What are the origins and consequences of the state as a provider of public goods? We study legal reforms that established mass public education and increased state capacity in German cities during the 1500s. These fundamental changes in public goods provision occurred where ideological competition during the Protestant Reformation interacted with popular politics at the local level. We document that cities that formalized public goods provision in the 1500s began differentially producing and attracting upper tail human capital and grew to be significantly larger in the long-run. We study plague outbreaks in a narrow time period as exogenous shocks to local politics and find support for a causal interpretation of the relationship between public goods institutions, human capital, and growth. More broadly, we provide evidence on the origins of state capacity directly targeting welfare improvement.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: G - Financial Economics > G1 - General Financial Markets > G18 - Government Policy and Regulation
L - Industrial Organization > L1 - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance > L15 - Information and Product Quality; Standardization and Compatibility
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
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 10 May 2016 08:22
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 23:25
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/66435

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