Historical European Institutions, Human Capital and Development
The literature on development has pointed out some deeply-rooted determinants of current economic development. Most research on the field has been devoted to developing countries or specific to single countries. We focus on deeply-rooted determinants of development of European regions, in particular on the influence of human capital. Following an identification strategy using instrumental variables, we approach the historical links between current human capital and the presence of universities and trade guilds in medieval times. We show that human capital is an important determinant of income disparities across European regions, and that trade guilds and universities at 1500 are good instruments to track the exogenous influence of the current levels of human capital. This finding shows robustness to several econometric specifications.
Development, regions, historical determinants of development.