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Population and Gross Domestic Product of Croatia, 1500-1913 (based on Angus Maddison’s L’économie mondiale - une perspective millénaire, Paris, 2001)

Vladimir Stipetić

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 588 Kb

str. 91-156

preuzimanja: 1.845



The author underlines the significance of Angus Maddison’s latest book and his macroeconomic approach to the world economic history of the second millennium. He brings to the attention some of Maddison’s most valuable results, particularly those closely related to the assessment of economic development of Croatia’s neighbouring countries. On the basis of Maddison’s quantitative data on the gross domestic product per capita of Italy, Venetian Republic, Austria, and Eastern Europe, the author calculates an estimate GDP per capita of Croatia in the period 1500- 1913. The fact that today’s territory of Croatia was, at certain points in the past, divided among as many as five separate states (apart from the Republic of Dubrovnik, parts of the Croatian territory were under the rule of Venetian Republic, Hungary, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire), and that some regions had their first censuses made at the end of the 17th century further hindered the analysis. The results of other authors have been used in order to establish the population estimate between 1700 and 1820, while more recent periods are covered with accurate statistical data. The author provides his own population estimate of Croatia for the year 1500 on the basis of partial census data (Dubrovnik, Venetian Dalmatia, and Istria) or other sources (tax censuses taken in Croatia and Slavonia and Turkish registers relating to Croatian territories under the Empire at the time). Thus the author has established a distribution of Croatian population, ordered chronologically from 1500 to 1913.
According to his estimate, in 1500, the Republic of Dubrovnik had 70 percent of Venice’s gross domestic product in real terms, whereas Dalmatian cities had around 60 percent. Growth rates of GDP per capita in the rural inland regions of Dalmatia and Istria as well as those of Croatia and Slavonia were much lower, and by comparing these values the author has calculated GDP per capita of Croatia as a whole. Similarly, taking into account the regional differences and the changes in economic growth, he has also provided an economic estimate for the years 1700, 1820, and 1913. By comparing these results with the ones Maddison submitted on the European countries, the author concludes that in terms of economic growth Croatia was probably 2 percent above the world’s average and 25 percent below the west-European average around 1500, while in 1913, it lagged 9 percent behind the world’s and as much as 60 percent behind the west-European average.

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