Proposal preview

Living standards in the Mediterranean Basin: A long-run view

Please note: the session is closed!

The purpose of this session is to bring together scholars working on quantifying the long-term evolution in historical living standards in the Mediterranean Basin. Groundbreaking work by Allen (2001), Malanima (2013) and Özmucur and Pamuk (2002) has provided us with estimates of real wages going as far back as the 13th century. These data have given us detailed information about when Northern Europe departed from its Southern Europe counterparts, in terms of real wages, which in turn has sparked important debates about why Northern Europe took over as the leading economic region after the millennia-long Southern European dominance. Southern Europe in these debates is, however, mainly represented by a handful of cities (Florence, Istanbul, Madrid, Milan, Naples, and Valencia). While these cities were unquestionable among the more important urban areas in the Mediterranean region, other territories (including also Northern Africa) have received much less attention. To gain a deeper understanding of long-term economic development in the Mediterranean region, this session intends to gather scholars working on historical living in any time period and in all areas of the Mediterranean Basin. In particular, the session seeks to get an overview of ongoing studies, as well as to discuss the possibility for future work, within this area of research.


  • Jacob Weisdorf, University of Southern Denmark,, Denmark
  • Mauro Rota, University of Rome La Sapienza,, Italy
  • Donatella Strangio, University of Rome La Sapienza,, Italy

Session members

  • Jose Garcia Gomez , Almeria University,
  • Nuno Palma, Manchester University,
  • Sevket Pamuk, Bogaziçi University,
  • Michelangelo Vasta, Siena University,
  • Alessandro Nuvolari, Pisa Sant'Anna,
  • Giovanni Federico, Pisa University,
  • Victor Lugue de Haro, Almeria University,
  • Emanuele Felice, University Chieti-Pescara,
  • Jan-Luiten van Zanden, Utrecht University,
  • Mattia Fochesato, NYU Abu Dhabi,
  • Herman de Jong, Groningen University,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Joerg Baten, Tubingen University,