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A Methodological approach to estimating the Money Demand in Pre-Industrial Economies: Probate Inventories and Spain in the 18th century

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  • Esteban A. Nicolini

    ()

  • Fernando Ramos

    ()

Abstract

The study of monetary phenomena and the understanding of price determination in Modern Europe are too often limited by the scarcity of good-quality data sets on the evolution across time of variables like money holdings, income, or wealth. In this paper we show that the information contained in probate inventories can be extremely useful to circumvent that problem. In particular, combining a data set of 114 inventories from Palencia (North of Spain) between 1750 and 1770 with census information (Catastro de Ensenada) we make a cross-section estimation of a money demand which is the first one ever produced for any period before the 19th century. The results provide meaningful insights about the relation between money demand and wealth, urbanization and structural change in a pre-industrial economy and highlight the potential of probate inventories to improve our knowledge of the monetary history of Modern Europe.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones in its series Working Papers in Economic History with number wh061902.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:wh061902

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  1. Papademos, Lucas & Modigliani, Franco, 1990. "The supply of money and the control of nominal income," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 399-399 Elsevier.
  2. Goldfeld, Stephen M. & Sichel, Daniel E., 1990. "The demand for money," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 299-356 Elsevier.
  3. Sargent, Thomas J & Velde, Francois R, 1999. "The Big Problem of Small Change," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 137-61, May.
  4. Allan H. Meltzer, 1963. "The Demand for Money: The Evidence from the Time Series," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 219.
  5. Fisher, Douglas, 1989. "The Price Revolution: A Monetary Interpretation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 883-902, December.
  6. Palencia, Fernando Carlos Ramos, 2001. "Pautas de consumo familiar en la Castilla preindustrial: Palencia, 1750–1850," Revista de Historia Económica, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(S1), pages 37-59, March.
  7. Flynn, Dennis O., 1978. "A new perspective on the spanish price revolution: The monetary approach to the balance of payments," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 388-406, October.
  8. Officer, Lawrence H., 2005. "The quantity theory in New England, 1703-1749: new data to analyze an old question," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 101-121, January.
  9. Allen, Robert C., 1988. "Inferring Yields from Probate Inventories," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(01), pages 117-125, March.
  10. Lewis, Mervyn K. & Mizen, Paul D., 2000. "Monetary Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290629.
  11. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1992. "U.S. Money Demand: Surprising Cross-Sectional Estimates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 285-343.
  12. Bomberger, William A, 1993. "Income, Wealth, and Household Demand for Deposits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1034-44, September.
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