Çizaka M. (1980) Europe and the desindustrialization of the Ottoman Empire

March 2, 2009

Çizakca, Murat (1980) “Price History and the Bursa Silk Industry: A Study in Ottoman Industrial Decline, 1550-1650”, The Journal of Economic History, 40/3, 533-550.



“The Ottoman Empire, which covered most of Eastern Europe and the Near East in the sixteenth century, did not escape the worldwide inflation that is generally known as the ‘price revolution’” (p.533). The price series of this article are based on the estimates made by the kadi of the Bursa court in numerous inheritance cases (p.535). Raw silk prices jumped from 73.8 akçes on average in 1550-70 to 290.4 on average in 1620-40, a 293% increase (±8.5% yearly inflation; p.536). Read the rest of this entry »

Pamuk, S. (2007) The Great European Divergence

February 6, 2009

Pamuk, Şevket (2007) “The Black Death and the origins of the ‘Great Divergence’ across Europe, 1300-1600”, European Review of Economic History, 11/3, 289-317.



Recent historiography has dramatically changed the way the impact of the Black Death on the European economy was perceived. It came to be seen as a ‘creative destruction’ process, a source of “long-term changes that paved the way for the emergence of modern Europe” (p.290). In their research for the origins of the Industrial Revolution and the Rise of the West, historians have also pointed out the significance of the differences in real wages between Northwestern Europe and the Mediterranean world (p.291). Yet, the wages gap between these two regions originated even before the 1600s (p.292).
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O’Brien P. (1982) The contribution of intercontinental trade to Europe’s expansion

December 2, 2007

O’Brien Patrick (1982) “European Economic Development: The Contribution of the Periphery”, The Economic History Review, 35/1, 1-18.

According to development historians of the 1970s (Wallerstein) the causes of the non-western world backwardness after 1800 is to be found in the previous period (1450-1750) which saw the mercantile rise of capitalistic Europe. According to them, peripheries maintained labour control (slavery, serfdom) and were trapped in an unequal exchange with the core. Meanwhile Western Europe could develop a freer and more advanced economy thanks to the plunder of the peripheries (2).
Although he acknowledges the importance of having a global approach of every country’s history, he also dismisses the importance of intercontinental trade for the rise of the West (3).
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