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CEP discussion paper
New media and competition: printing and Europe's transformation after Gutenberg
Jeremiah Dittmar and Skipper Seabold
January 2019
Paper No' CEPDP1600:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: L1; L2; N0; N8; O3; O4

Tags: competition; firms; media; technology; institutions; religion; politics

We study the role of book content in economic, religious, and institutional development after the introduction of printing, and the role of competition in determining the amount and content of local printing. We focus on (1) business education content and (2) religious ideas during the Protestant Reformation. We construct data on printing output and competition in European cities 1454-1600.We document positive relationships between business education content and city growth, and Protestant content and institutional change. We find competition predicts content. We confirm the relationships between competition, content, and outcomes using printer deaths as a source of exogenous variation.