Discussion paper

DP14013 Elite Violence and Elite Numeracy in Europe from 500 to 1900 CE: A Co-Evolution?

We develop a new indicator for elite numeracy in order to investigate trends in European elite numeracy since the 6th century CE and describe its co-evolution with elite violence over this period. During the early medieval period, Western Europe had no advantage over the east, but the development of relative violence levels changed this. After implementing an instrumental variable strategy and a battery of robustness tests, we find a substantial relationship and conclude that violence had a detrimental impact on human capital formation. The drastic increase in human capital since the High Middle Ages was at least partially due to declining violence.

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Citation

Baten, J (2019), “DP14013 Elite Violence and Elite Numeracy in Europe from 500 to 1900 CE: A Co-Evolution?”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 14013. https://cepr.org/publications/dp14013