ISS Seminar "Creative Destruction in the European State System: 1000-1850"

April 16, 2019


Type Symposium
Intended for General public / Enrolled students / International students / Alumni / Companies / University students / Academic and Administrative Staff
Date(s) May 14, 2019 15:00 — 16:40
Location Hongo Area Campus
Entrance Fee No charge
Registration Method No advance registration required
ISS Seminar
■Date■ May 14, 2019, 15:00~16:40
■Location■ Meeting Room (Akamon General Research Building, 5F)
■Guest lecturer■ Eric Weese (Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo)
■Title■ Creative Destruction in the European State System: 1000-1850

We argue that the optimal level of competition between states is subject to a tradeoff between short-term losses and long-term gains in economic growth. In a process of creative destruction, higher quality states displace lower quality states in the market for governance at a cost. We provide evidence for both the costs and benefits of state competition using newly available data on the universe of boundary changes for all European states combined with city population data over 1000-1850. In event studies, we show that cities switching between states suffer large transitory losses in population, while cities that end up under new governance enjoy sustained population increases. Using decomposition techniques, we then estimate the relative growth contributions of switching and unobserved state effects.

We find that the estimated state effects are highly correlated with data on parliamentary activity and that improvements in the quality of states occur both due to improvement of the pool of states over time as well as due to cities gravitating towards higher quality states.
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