The Welfare Impact of a New Good : The Printed Book

  title={The Welfare Impact of a New Good : The Printed Book},
  author={Jeremiah Dittmar},
Gutenberg’s printing press was the great revolution in Renaissance information technology. Economists have struggled to identify its impact in macroeconomic data on productivity, output per person, or real wages. This paper documents the welfare impact of the technology by exploiting data on the price and consumption of books in England between the 1490 and 1700. I find that the welfare impact of the printed book was equivalent to 4% of income by the 1540s and 10% of income by 1700 using a… CONTINUE READING


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