Three Essays in Empirical Historical Economics



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In recent years text analysis and geographic information systems (GIS) have become vital as sources of data for economic research. In this dissertation I use these tools in conjunction with economic theory to investigate several historical questions. In the first chapter, text matching tools are used in the construction of a database of early European printed materials to explain why some cities adopted the printing press earlier than others during the 15th century. In the second chapter, GIS tools are used to construct a panel of environmental controls to assess the impact of a land redistribution on agricultural productivity in Ethiopia. In the final chapter, both sets of tools are used to explore a database of English soldier names from the 14th and 15th centuries and assess the importance of social status and regional recruitment in the armies of the Hundred Years' War.



Ethiopia, Hundred Years War, Printing press