April 22, 2009
Schulze, Max-Stephan and Wolf, Nikolaus (2009), “On the origin of border effects: insights from the Habsburg Empire”, Journal of Economic Geography, 9/1, 117-136.
While market integration typically depends on the level of technology and infrastructure, economists have shown that borders affect prices and trade flows (p.117). Administrative borders are strongly trade diverting but what about other types of borders such as the ethno-linguistic ones? The authors study the Austro-Hungarian Empire as it represents a rather unique example of multi-ethnic polity not divided by national borders (p.118). Read the rest of this entry »
February 3, 2009
Boschma, Ron A. (1998) “The industrial rise of the Third Italy: open window of locational opportunity?”, paper presented at the 38th Congress of European Regional Science Association, Vienna, 33p.
This article is available online
The Window of Locational Opportunity- (WLO-) concept “accounts for dynamic and accidental dimensions of new industrial development in space (… which) tend to open up in the event of new techno-industrial developments”. Can this concept explain why the post WWII wave of urbanization in Italy happened in the so-called Third Italy  and not in the Northwest, the traditional industrial core or the South (p.3)? Read the rest of this entry »
January 30, 2009
Fontaine, Laurence (1993) Histoire du colportage en Europe. XVe – XIXe siècle, Paris: Albin Michel, 334p.
“if you ever hear the pedlar, you would never dance again after a tabor and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you … he has songs for men and women of all sizes … he hath ribands of all the colours i’ the rainbow … he sings them over as they were gods and goddesses”
William Shakespeare, Winter’s tale.
This book is both important and disappointing. While the title indicates a history of the peddlers in Europe from the 15th to the 19th century, what its author delivers is closer from a research on one or two French networks from 1680 to 1850. Laurence Fontaine studies the traders rather than the trade itself, the quantitative aspects (how many traders, value of the goods traded) are never dealt with. As usual for a French historian, the economic exchanges are seen as embedded in the social relations, which gives a convenient excuse not to undertake the painstaking economic approach of the issue. Read the rest of this entry »
November 11, 2007
Buti Gilbert (2005) “Cabotage et caboteurs de la France méditerranénne (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles)”, Rives nord-méditerranéennes, Cabotage et réseaux portuaires en Méditerranée, 11 p.
This article is available on line.
Coastal traffic (cabotage) was an essential component of the Old Regime’s “circulation economy”. Even in a port as important as Marseille in the 18th century, coastal traffic is a precious complement to long haul seafaring (2). In secondary ports, such as Saint-Tropez, 90% of ships entering the harbour were involved in petty coastal traffic. Most of the rest was also involved in coastal traffic but with more distant places (Italy, Spain, Levant). Read the rest of this entry »