International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

Roman Transport Network Connectivity and Economic Integration

16:00 | Thursday, March 18, 2021

Zoom Webinar

English

Erik Hornung

Erik Hornung

Professor of Economic History, University of Cologne

Dэя-Бøяg, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Large-scale transport infrastructure projects shape connectivity patterns and determine the distribution of economic activity across space by altering the physical costs of exchange. While many studies investigate the effects of changing trade costs and transport infrastructure on the local level of integration, researchers know surprisingly little about the potential origins of systematic differences in bilateral transport connectivity and information frictions between regions. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Erik Hornung of University of Cologne presents his latest research which shows that the creation of the first integrated multi-modal pan-European transport network during Roman times influences economic integration over two millennia.

Drawing on spatially highly disaggregated data on excavated Roman ceramics, Erik and his co-authors document that contemporary interregional trade was influenced by connectivity within the network. Today, these connectivity differentials continue to influence integration as approximated by cross-regional firm investment behaviour. Continuity is partly explained by selective infrastructure routing and cultural integration due to bilateral convergence in preferences and values. These results are Roman-connectivity specific and do not reflect pre-existing patterns of exchange using pre-Roman trade data.

Policy makers and economists need to be aware of the history of bilateral exchange and the concurrent integration of attitudes and tastes when evaluating the welfare effects of infrastructure projects and regional policies and when discussing the optimal allocation of infrastructure resources.

Live on Zoom on March 18, 2021
16:00 Hong Kong/Beijing/Singapore
08:00 London | 09:00 Cologne | 17:00 Tokyo | 19:00 Sydney

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Zoom Webinar

Erik Hornung

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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