Political Participation and Economic Development. Evidence from the Rise of Participative Political Institutions in the Late Medieval German Lands
55 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015 Last revised: 16 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 13, 2018
Participative political institutions in late medieval cities in the German Lands had the potential to impact city size and growth. The study confirms the positive effect on economic outcomes of inclusive political institutions in 282 cities, as found by other studies, but supports a more skeptical view of craft guilds. Craft guilds participating in the city council had zero or negative impact. Enfranchising citizens to elect the city government had a stable and robustly positive effect on city size and growth, but only during the medieval period. The effect of participatory institutions declines with age: they are prone to institutional degeneration and increased rent-seeking.
Keywords: Medieval Period, Early-Modern Period, Central Europe, City Development, Participative Political Institutions, Democratic Transition, Guilds
JEL Classification: N44, N94, O10, R11, H11, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation