Comparative European Institutions and the Little Divergence, 1385–1800

Despite being the first to benefit from the New World, Castile and Portugal declined relative to England and the Netherlands due to poorer starting institutions, according to research. This was investigated using a new dataset to compare institutional quality across time. The study analyzed parliamentary meetings, extraordinary taxation, coin debasement, and real interest rates. The data did not show that Portugal and Spain had worse political institutions before the English Civil War.

Image courtesy of interviewee. December 19, 2023

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