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This paper contributes to the debate on Europe's modern economic growth using the statistical concept of long-range dependence. Different regimes, defined as periods between two successive endogenously estimated structural shocks, matched episodes of pandemics and war. The most persistent shocks occurred at the time of the Black Death and the twentieth century's world wars. Our findings confirm that the Black Death often resulted in higher income levels but reject the view of a uniform long-term response to the Plague. In fact, we find a negative impact on incomes in non-Malthusian economies. In the North Sea Area (Britain and the Netherlands), the Plague was followed by positive trend growth in output per capita and population, heralding the onset of modern economic growth and the Great Divergence in Eurasia.
europe; malthusian; modern economic growth; pandemics; persistence; structural breaks; war