Theresa Finley, Raphael Franck, Noel Johnson, Stelios Michalopoulos, 02 December 2017

Political revolutions often bring swift regime change leading to short-run economic change, but the long-term consequences are less clear. Some argue that revolutions pave the way for capitalist market growth, while others argue they are only political in nature with limited economic consequence. This column uses extensive evidence from the French Revolution to show that the effects vary across the country and over time. The analysis speaks to questions of concern to developing countries regarding the relationship between institutional change, inequality, and long-run economic development. 

Daron Acemoğlu, Davide Cantoni, Simon Johnson, James Robinson, 02 July 2009

Can external agents successfully impose significant institutional reforms? Many economists are sceptical. This column assesses major reforms the French imposed upon their conquered European neighbours in the years after the French Revolution. The reforms, imposed suddenly without concern for being “appropriate to local conditions”, appear to have spurred significantly faster economic growth.

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