Discussion paper

DP18481 Regional and Urban Development in Europe

This chapter provides an overview of the historical economic development of regions, their successes and failures, their advances and retreats, which can help to make placebased policies more effective. We review data and literature on regional and urban development from antiquity to 1914, the year of World War I. We discuss common data sets and sources, and go on to reflect on empirical methods and common challenges. We review the historical urban and regional economic literature on the role of the church, the impact of wars, crises, and events that shaped Europe’s cities and regions, then institutions, trade, and finally industrialization. We conclude with an outlook for the future of historical urban and regional economic research.


Lehmann-Hasemeyer, S and F Wahl (2023), ‘DP18481 Regional and Urban Development in Europe‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18481. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18481