Sascha O. Becker, Erik Hornung, 17 May 2020

The Prussian three-class franchise is a classic example of a system that politically over-represented the economic elite. Contrary to the predominant and simplistic view that the system allowed the landed elites to capture most political rents, this column finds that, conditional on land ownership inequality, MPs from constituencies with a higher vote inequality support more liberal policies, gauging their political orientation from the universe of roll call votes cast in parliament during Prussia’s rapid industrialisation in the second half of the 19th century.

Thilo Huning, Nikolaus Wolf, 12 April 2019

State borders can change due to both political and economic disputes. This column shows how the formation of the German state can be traced back to British political intervention at the end of the Napoleonic War. In preventing Russia from gaining territory westwards, Britain set in motion a series of events that gave Prussia strategic trade advantages. This led to the formation of Europe's first customs union (the Zollverein) and prepared the political unification of Germany.

Irena Grosfeld, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 23 March 2013

History influences the politics of every nation. But how exactly can we measure it? This column presents new research that assesses the influence of empires on Poland’s current political makeup. In particular, the centuries-old partition of Poland continues to influence politics through its long-lasting effects on infrastructure and religion.

Ludger Woessmann, Sascha O. Becker, Erik Hornung, 09 May 2010

Did education play a role in economic development during the Industrial Revolution? This column discusses new evidence from Prussia showing that formal education was critical to technology adoption in the first and second phase of the Industrial Revolution during the 19th century.

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