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Leonard Dudley


Chargé de cours

Faculté des arts et des sciences - Département de sciences économiques

Professeur honoraire

Faculté des arts et des sciences - Département de sciences économiques


Areas of Expertise

Publications Expand all Collapse all



  • “Language Standardization and the Industrial Revolution”, Oxford Economic Papers, 69:4 (October 2017) 1138–1161.
  • “Religion, Politics and Luck: Explaining the Rise of Sustained Innovation”, Homo Oeconomicus25:1 (2008), 55-90.
  • “The Great Realignment: How Factor-Biased Innovation Reshaped Comparative Advantage in the US and Japan, 1970-1992”, Japan and the World Economy, 19 (2007), 112-132, with Johannes Moenius.
  • “Arms and the Man: World War I and the Rise of the Welfare State”, Kyklos, 57:4 (2004), 475-504, with Ulrich Witt.
  • “Standardized Latin and Medieval Economic Growth,” European Review of Economic History, 7:2 (2003), 213-238, with Ulrich Blum.
  • “Religion and Economic Growth: Was Weber Right?” Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Vol. 11:2 (2001), 207-230, with Ulrich Blum.
  • “The Rationality of Revolution,” Economics of Governance, 1:1 (2000), 77-103.
  • “The Two Germanies: Information Technology and Economic Divergence,” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 155:4 (1999), 710-737, with U. Blum.
  • “Le secteur public: moteur de croissance ou obstruction à l’industrie?” Actualité économique, 75 (1999), 357-378, with Claude Montmarquette.
  • “Communications and Economic Growth”, European Economic Review, 43:3 (1999), pp. 595-619.
  • “Fast Convergence: Institutions and Economic Growth in the New East Germany,” Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftswissenschaften/Review of Economics, 49:2 (1998), 124-143 (with Ulrich Blum).
  • “Space, Time, Number: Harold Innis as Evolutionary Theorist,” Canadian Journal of Economics, 28 (1995), pp. 754-769.
  • “Punishment, Reward and the Fortunes of States,” Public Choice, 74 (1992), 293-315.
  • “A Spatial Model of the State,” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 147 (1991), 312-336, with Ulrich Blum.
  • “Structural Change in Interdependent Bureaucracies: Was Rome’s Failure Economic or Military?” Explorations in Economic History, 27 (1990), 232-248.
  • “A Spatial Approach to Structural Change: The Making of the French Hexagon”, Journal of Economic History, 49 (1989), 657-676, with Ulrich Blum.

Chapitres dans des recueils

  • A Spatial Model of State Coercion“, in Coercion and Social Welfare in Public Finance, Jorge Matinez-Vasquez and Stanley L. Winer, eds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014, 82-88.
  • “Language as Platform : A Theory of Subsidiarity and the Nation State,” in Democracy, Freedom and Coercion: A Law and Economics Approach, Alain Marciano and Jean-Michel Josselin, eds. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 2007, 155-170.
  • Explaining the Great Divergence : Medium and Message on the Eurasian Land Mass, 1700-1850,” in Law and the State : A Political Economy Approach, Alain Marciano and Jean-Michel Josselin, eds. Edward Elgar, 2005, London, 100-120.
  • “Culture and Efficiency : Economic Effects of Religion, Nationalism and Ideology”, in Current Trends in Public Choice Theory, Jose Casas Pardo and Friedrich Schneider, editors, Edward Elgar, London, 1996, 69-90,  with U. Blum.

Communications Expand all Collapse all

Social Sciences History Association, Philadelphia, 11 november 2021

How did the Byzantines and Song each lose half of their empires within a single decade. A possible answer comes in three parts. First, the dismemberment followed the fusion of innovations that lowered organizational scale economies. Second, the coming together of these techniques was sparked by abnormally cool, dry weather. Third, in both episodes, the changes might be described as destructive creation — the exact opposite of Schumpeter’s “creative destruction.”

European Historical Economics Society, Paris, août 2019

During the Industrial Revolution, did population growth stimulate innovation, or did causality run primarily from innovation to growth? Previous research fails to explain why between 1700 and 1850: (i) most innovation originated in three clusters of cities in Britain, northern France, and the USA; (ii) the rate of urbanization in these innovating regions was greater than it was elsewhere; (iii) the most important innovations involved cooperation between co-inventors with different areas of specialization. The key, we suggest, was the existence, for the first time in history, of rapidly expanding networks of people able to write and speak standardized languages. Metcalfe’s (2013) Law states that the value of a network grows as the square of the number of its users. We find that the presence in 1700 of a monolingual dictionary describing a language which considerable numbers of people were able to read and speak was significant in determining a city’s subsequent innovation.  In turn, innovation – especially cooperative innovation – was significant in explaining a city’s population growth.

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