Institutionally Constrained Technology Adoption: Resolving the Longbow Puzzle

  title={Institutionally Constrained Technology Adoption: Resolving the Longbow Puzzle},
  author={Douglas W. Allen and Peter T. Leeson},
  journal={The Journal of Law and Economics},
  pages={683 - 715}
For over a century the longbow reigned as undisputed king of medieval European missile weapons. Yet only England used the longbow as a mainstay in its military arsenal; France and Scotland clung to the technologically inferior crossbow. This longbow puzzle has perplexed historians for decades. We resolve it by developing a theory of institutionally constrained technology adoption. Unlike the crossbow, the longbow was cheap and easy to make and required rulers who adopted the weapon to train… Expand
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