Economic and Social History Blog

property rights

Piketty and the Charter of the Forest

With the recent publication of the Paradise papers yet another glimpse has been given into the ways the financially blessed avoid paying their fair dues  back into society. It wasn’t as if we didn’t already know this. The coverage and revelations echo closely those as a result of the publication of the Panama papers last year. This…

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Mills, Cranes and the Great Divergence

  Watermills, windmills, building cranes and harbour cranes were the high-tech inventions of the Middle Ages: expensive, but labour-saving machines that could raise labour productivity significantly. In an article in Economic History Review Bas van Bavel, Eltjo Buringh and Jessica Dijkman compare the prevalence of mills and cranes in medieval western Europe and the Middle…

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