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Information Technology and Institutions Supporting Human Capital Accumulation and Exchange

Information Technology and Institutions Supporting Human Capital Accumulation and Exchange

Objective

Information technology revolutions transform the production and exchange of ideas and drive profound institutional and cultural change. History provides unique settings to document the causal impact of changes in information technology and institutions, and the best evidence on their long-run effects.
The objective of the research is to document the impact of revolutionary transformations in information technology and institutions using evidence from the European Renaissance. Printing was the new information technology of the Renaissance and is arguably the best parallel to the internet. Print media transmitted ideas that led to significant institutional change. But no quantitative research systematically documents the impact of these innovations.
The research will innovate by constructing ground-breaking micro-data on media markets, human capital, and institutions; developing cutting edge estimators for high-dimensional data to measure ideas in the media; and using historical sources of exogenous variation to identify cause and effect.
The research has three strands. The first will document the impact of competition on idea diffusion and institutional change during the Protestant Reformation. The research will construct firm-level data on all known books in German-speaking Europe 1450-1600, use high-dimensional estimators to measure ideas in print, and identify exogenous variation in competition from archival data.
The second strand will document the origins of persistent differences in human capital accumulation by constructing new data on city laws that set up the first experiments in public education and on virtually all German university students 1400-1550, and by using local shocks to support causal inference.
The third strand will document the impact of organizations supporting knowledge diffusion that were complementary to printing by constructing data on all European scholarly societies and journals and using historical shocks to identify their impact.
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Host institution

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

Address

Houghton Street 1
Wc2a 2ae London

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 275 043,75

Beneficiaries (1)

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LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 275 043,75

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 638957

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 May 2015

  • End date

    30 April 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 275 043,75

  • EU contribution

    € 1 275 043,75

Hosted by:

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

United Kingdom