Good or bad money?: debasement, society and the state in the late Middle Ages
AbstractThis paper revisits the question of debasement by analysing a newly compiled dataset with a novel approach, as well as employing conventional methods. It finds that mercantile influence on monetary policies favoured relative stability, and wage-payers did not typically gain from silver debasement. Excess demand for bullion was not a major cause of debasement. Yet monetary issues were important. Warfare made the debasement of silver but not of gold more likely. Regime types had an importance comparable to that of warfare: Princes debased silver more often than monetary unions and especially city-states. It is likely that fiscal debasements were more frequent in principalities, not least because princes debased for fiscal reasons also in the absence exceptional needs. The conclusion discusses the implications of the findings.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 27946.
Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N0 - Economic History - - General
- F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
- G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
- H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
- B11 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Preclassical (Ancient, Medieval, Mercantilist, Physiocratic)
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