The economic rise of Europe over the past millennium represents a major human breakthrough. To explain this phenomenon, this book highlights a counterintuitive yet central feature of Europe's historical landscape: warfare. Historical warfare inflicted numerous costs on rural populations. Security was a traditional function of the city. To mitigate the high costs of conflict in the countryside, rural populations migrated to urban centers. Over time, the city's historical role as a safe harbor translated into local economic development through several channels, including urban political freedoms and human capital accumulation. To make this argument, the book performs a wide-ranging analysis of a novel quantitative database that spans more than one thousand years, from the fall of the Carolingian Empire to today. The book's study of urban Europe's historical path from warfare to wealth provides a new way to think about the process of long-run economic and political development.
Mark Dincecco is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Political Transformations and Public Finances: Europe, 1650-1913 (Cambridge, 2011). In 2016-17, he was the Edward Teller National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, California. Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato is a faculty member in the Department of Economics and Finance at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano. He is the author of several peer-reviewed journal articles. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan. In 2010-11, he was a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy at Yale University, Connecticut.
1. Introduction; 2. The importance of warfare; 3. Europe's urban rise; 4. Evaluating the safe harbor effect; 5. Evaluating the warfare-to-wealth effect; 6. Warfare to wealth in comparative perspective; Epilogue.