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States of Credit:
Size, Power, and the Development of European Polities
David Stasavage

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"This is social science at its best. David Stasavage offers an original thesis, develops it carefully, and supports it with historical and quantitative evidence. A tour de force."--Daron Acemoglu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Respectfully debunking long-held claims and laying to rest long-standing arguments, David Stasavage's masterful book ensures that no economic historian, comparative political economist, or historical sociologist will ever again be able to ignore or deny the importance of the link between a state's capacity for public credit and the existence of a representative political system. No one--until Stasavage--has offered so convincing an explanation of the variation in the development of European political institutions that foster economic innovation and growth."--Margaret Levi, University of Washington and University of Sydney

"This book presents a clear and well-constructed argument resting on a broad empirical basis over a long time period and in various regions of Western Europe. Through sophisticated statistical analysis, Stasavage convincingly demonstrates that major autonomous cities ruled by a merchant elite had easier access to credit than territorial states. In their turn, however, these mercantile elites shifted toward a rent-seeking and economically less dynamic attitude, thus paving the way to the dominance of the national states."--W. P. Blockmans, Leiden University

"States of Credit evaluates a novel conjecture regarding the relations between political representation and public debt. It is an important contribution to the literature."--Avner Greif, Stanford University

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File created: 11/22/2015

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