Household Debt in Seventeenth-Century Württemberg: Evidence from Personal Inventories
AbstractThe “less-developed” interior of early modern Europe, especially the rural economy, is often regarded as financially comatose. This paper investigates this view using a rich dataset of marriage and death inventories for seventeenth-century Germany. It first analyzes how borrowing varied with gender, age, marital status, occupation, lifecycle juncture, date, and asset portfolios. It then explores the characteristics of debts, examining borrowing purposes, familial links, intracommunal ties, and documentary instruments. It finds that ordinary people, even in a “less-developed” economy in rural central Europe, sought to invest profitably, smooth consumption, bridge low liquidity, and hold savings in financial form.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1148.
Date of creation: 25 Jul 2011
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
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- De Vijlder, Nicolas, 2012. "A macroeconomic analysis of the land market in the count of Flanders and the duchy of Brabant. (fifteenth and sixteenth century)," MPRA Paper 39283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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