Yu SasakiWaseda University
This article explores the impact of the postal system on the consolidation of state authority in pre-modern Europe. Previous research indicates that geographical scale limits the state's ability to rule directly in this period. I argue that European states used the post to mitigate this constraint. Posts substantially reduced communications cost as an infrastructure of delivering information. I investigate the effect of postal service on state authority with a new data set on France. Using draft-desertion rates in the First Republic and the persistence of non-French speakers in a later period as my outcomes, I show that proximity to posts reduces them. I address the endogeneity concern that postal expansion is determined by confounding factors through two additional analyses: the first employs interactions using geographical distances to Paris and linguistic distances to French and the second focuses on the preexisting infrastructure that could induce postal location.
I have revised the conceptual framework, added a new outcome variable, and clarified the discussion on causal identification.
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