The Origins and Legacies of the Little Divergence in Central and Eastern Europe

RHN 76/2018 | Event

Organisers: Erich Landsteiner; Tamás Vonyó, Mikołaj Malinowski, and Jacob Weisdorf

1-2 June 2018, Seminarraum Geschichte 1, University of Vienna, Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna, Austria

WEast Workshop:
The Origins and Legacies of the Little Divergence in Central and Eastern Europe

One of the biggest challenges in economic history is to account for present-day differences in levels of economic development across countries and regions. With this in mind, the participant of the workshop will share ideas as to when and why did the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) began to lag behind the West and why they have not been able to close, or even substantially narrow, this gap. New insights can be drawn from examining their tumultuous and complex histories, as well as their untapped sources of historical data. This may concern several developmental factors, endowments, geography, institutions, and culture, in different time periods.

The WEast (The Eastern European Economic History Initiative) workshop in Vienna will offer an opportunity to share and discuss ideas and research pertaining to these and related questions. The prime objective of the WEast workshop is to facilitate communication between scholars from the ‘East’ and the ‘West’ working in the broad realm of Eastern European economic and social history in order to share their research and to encourage exchange of knowledge about available sources of data and state-of-the art methodologies.


Friday, June 1, 2018

13:00-13:30: Arrival and Registration

13:30-14:00: Welcome and Organization Details

14:00-16:30: Session 1

Chair: Tamas Vonyo (Bocconi University Milan)

Felix Schaff (University of Cambridge)/Guido Alfani (Bocconi University Milan)/Victoria Gierok (Bocconi University Milan):
Economic inequality in preindustrial Germany: a long-run view (14th to 19th centuries)

Katarzyna Salach (University of Warsaw) / Pawel Bukowski (London School of Economics) / Filip Novokmet (Paris School of Economics):
The effect of inequalities on political and ethnic conflict

Stefan Nikolić (University of Groningen):
Eastern European standards of living in comparative perspective, 1913 – 1945

Michael Adelsberger (University of Vienna):
Vienna and the Little Divergence. Wage structure and representativeness of building craftsmen’s wages

Mario Holzner/Stefan Jestl (Vienna Institute of International Economic Studies):
State capacity, technological and economic development from 1870 to 1913

16:30-17:00 Coffee Break

17:00-18:15: Keynote 1

Chair: Markus Lampe (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Ulrich Pfister (University of Münster):
Human capital and intra-European divergence in economic development, 18th-19thcenturies

20:00: Dinner

Location: Gasthaus zur Stadt Krems, Zieglergasse 7, 1070 Wien

Saturday, June 2, 2018

09:00-11:00: Session 2

Chair: (t.b.a.)

David Chilosi (University of Groningen) / Max Schulze (LSE London) / Oliver Volckart (LSE London):
Comparing inter-urban transaction costs: capital and wheat markets north and south of the Alps, 1350-1800

Jan Škvrňák (Masaryk University Brno):
Agricultural markets in the Czech Lands at the beginning of Little Divergence

Joerg Baten (University of Tuebingen) / Alexandra M. de Pleijt (University of Oxford):
Girl-power generates superstars in long-term development: Female autonomy and human capital formation in early modern Eastern and Western Europe

Andreas Backhaus (LMU Munich):
Fading legacies: human capital in the aftermath of the partitions of Poland

11:00-11:15: Coffee Break

11:15-12:30: Keynote 2

Chair: Erich Landsteiner (University of Vienna)

Paolo Malanima (Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro):
Energy and the origin of modern divergence

12:30-13:30: Lunch Break

13:30-15:30: Session 3

Chair: Mikolaj Malinowski (University of Lund)

Katalin Szende (Central European University, Budapest):
The urban variable: a sign of belatedness or a chance to catch up?

Piotr Łozowski (University of Białystok):
Urban family in medieval Poland – different or similar to Western Europe?

Taras Tsymbal (National University of Kyiv):
Commodity prices in the 18th-century Ukraine: Introduction to a dataset

Tomas Cvrcek (UCL, SSEES London & VŠE Prague):
Introduction of the Central European Historical Microdata Center

15:30-16:00: Coffee Break

16:00-18:00: Session 4

Chair: Erich Landsteiner (University of Vienna)

Monika Kozlowska (University of Bialystok):
Grain yields as an indicator of the crisis in the 17th century. Poland during the Little Ice Age and the Little Divergence

Branimir Brgles (University of Zagreb):
Agricultural production and ‘second serfdom’ in Croatia and Slavonia (1500–1700)

Michael Pammer (Johannes Kepler University Linz):
Productivity and regional specialisation: Central and Eastern European agriculture before World War I

Alexander Reinold (Vienna University of Economics and Business):
Market access and agricultural productivity across the Habsburg Monarchy in the second half of the 19th century

WEast Website: