Time for Growth

LSE Economic History Working Paper No. 222/2015

50 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2015

See all articles by Lars Boerner

Lars Boerner

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economic History

Battista Severgnini

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 27, 2015

Abstract

This paper studies the impact of the early adoption of one of the most important high-technology machines in history, the public mechanical clock, on long-run growth in Europe. We avoid endogeneity by considering the relationship between the adoption of clocks with two sets of instruments: distance from the first adopters and the appearance of repeated solar eclipses. The latter instrument is motivated by the predecessor technologies of mechanical clocks, astronomic instruments that measured the course of heavenly bodies. We find significant growth rates between 1500 and 1700 in the range of 30 percentage points in early adoptor cities and areas.

Keywords: technological adoption, cities, mechanical clocks, information technology

JEL Classification: 033, N13, N93

Suggested Citation

Boerner, Lars and Severgnini, Battista, Time for Growth (August 27, 2015). LSE Economic History Working Paper No. 222/2015 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2652782 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2652782

Lars Boerner (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economic History ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/larsboerner/

Battista Severgnini

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Economics ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

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