My thesis in three minutes (it’s more the general vibe of it really)

Here’s a transcript from my entry into RMIT’s three minute thesis competition. I attempted to give the presentation off the top of my head – and managed to fumble my way through it reasonably well – but it makes for better reading in script form.

So here’s my thesis for the layperson, in roughly three minutes:

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The rise of the modern state and the rise of Europe

I recently read a couple of interesting economic history papers on the interactions between institutions, economic and political power, and economic growth. The first was the econ-famous paper, The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth, by Harvard economists Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson, which has managed to rack up 682 citations (so says Google Scholar). The second was the less-cited (12) but equally-good paper, The Open Constitution and its Enemies: Competition, Rent Seeking, and the Rise of the Modern State, by Oliver Volckart of LSE.

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