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Published December 14, 2016 | Published
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Why Is It That Europeans Ended Up Conquering the Rest of the Globe? Prices, the Military Revolution, and Western Europe's Comparative Advantage in Violence


Preliminary data from England, France, and Germany show that the relative price of artillery, handguns, and gunpowder declined between the fourteenth century and the eighteenth century. Most of these prices fell relative to the cost of factors of production, and the price decline suggests that the military sector of western European economies experienced rapid and sustained technical change before the Industrial Revolution–a claim in accord with qualitative evidence from research on the late medieval and early modern military revolution. The price data shed new light on this revolution and point to a potential explanation for why western Europe developed a comparative advantage in violence over the rest of the world.

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GPIH Working Paper No. 3, Version: January [2006].

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Published - Hoffman01082005why_is_it_that_europeans_ended_up.pdf


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