Economic Origins of Modern Science: Technology, Institutions, and Markets

Wednesday 19 June 2019, 1.00PM to 2.00pm

Speaker(s): Jeremiah Dittmar (LSE)

Abstract: I study how the introduction of Gutenberg’s printing press shocked the market for ideas and the labor market, increasing the returns to and quantity of science. Professor salaries increased significantly relative to skilled wages after printing diffused. Science professors enjoyed the largest salary increases, the share of university courses on scientific subjects increased, and graduates shifted towards scientific careers. Scientific activity and invention began to grow across cities, particularly where printing interacted with universities and political competition, which previously delivered limited support to science. These changes are not explained by prior economic or cultural trends and predate the Protestant Reformation. 

1:1Doodle poll

Location: A/EW/104 Alcuin East Wing

Admission: All welcome