Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar
Battista Severgnini

Time for Growth

Professor Battista Severgnini, Copenhagen Business School
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Maison de la paix (Geneva), Petal 1 Room S5

The Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar is the Economics department's weekly seminar, featuring external speakers in all areas of economics.

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As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Battista Severgnini. He will present his research entitled Time for Growth.

Abstract: This paper studies the impact of the early adoption of one of the most important high-technology machines in history, the public mechanical clock, on long-run growth in Europe.  We avoid endogeneity by considering the relationship between the adoption of clocks with an instrument based on the appearance of repeated solar eclipses.  This is motivated by the predecessor technologies of mechanical clocks, astronomic instruments that measured the course of heavenly bodies.  We find a significant increase in growth rates between 1500 and 1700 in the range of 30 percentage points in early adopter cities and areas.   Finally, additional quantitative analysis suggests a positive relationship between mechanical clocks and contemporary long-term orientation nowadays.


Battista Severgnini (PhD Humboldt University Berlin, 2010) is Associate Professor of Economic Growth and Productivity in the Department of Economics at Copenhagen Business School. His primary areas of interest are economic growth, productivity, labour economics, sport economics and economic history.