Mills, Cranes, and the Great Divergence: The Use of Immovable Capital Goods in Western Europe and the Middle East, Ninth to Sixteenth Centuries

@article{vanBavel2018MillsCA,
  title={Mills, Cranes, and the Great Divergence: The Use of Immovable Capital Goods in Western Europe and the Middle East, Ninth to Sixteenth Centuries},
  author={Bas van Bavel and Eltjo Buringh and Jessica Dijkman},
  journal={History of Economics eJournal},
  year={2018}
}
This article contributes to the ongoing debate on the causes of the great divergence by comparing the use of expensive labour-saving capital goods—water-mills, windmills, and cranes—in medieval western Europe and the Middle East. Using novel ways of measuring, we find that whereas the use of these goods increased in Europe, in the Middle East their prevalence decreased, or they were not used at all. We investigate several possible explanations and reject most of them, including religion… 

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