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Economy of Ragusa, 1300–1800: The Tiger of Medieval Mediterranean

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Using data for proxying economic activity, we confirm historical consensus that the medieval Republic of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) was a prosperous small open economy, rivaling bigger competitors like Venice. More tentatively, we test a number of hypotheses on the determinants of success, finding partial evidence that Ragusa had strong fundamentals with prudent finances, effective rule of law, good governance, social fairness, business-friendly institutions, and trade openness. Ragusa may be an early example of a ‘Tiger’ economy with growth-promoting institutions. Future research should test the ‘resilience hypothesis’ that such economies are best able to deal with external shocks.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Munk School of Global Affairs/CERES, University of Toronto, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3K7., Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Financial Economics, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 June 2013

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