Beyond the Competition Approach to Money: a Conceptual Framework applied to the Early Modern France
AbstractAs other European countries of that time, Early modern France was characterized by its monetary plurality. The purpose of the text is to present this plurality and analyse the ways it was articulated. After a presentation of the intention of the paper, Section 2 presents the problem of monetary articulations, referring to existing literature: competition is too often the only articulation mode referred to by economists; however, an other one is increasingly analyzed, complementarity. We state that complementarity is too vague to be relevant enough and build a conceptual framework identifying four distinct articulation modes : competition, simultaneousness, supplementarity and autonomy. Section 3 presents a short overview of monetary plurality in the French early modern period and it applies the theoretical framework to it in order to stress the various possible combinations of articulation modes of money. It emphasizes the case of royal coins as being close to supplementarity, the case of gold coins as being close to competition, and the case of méreaux as being between supplementarity and autonomy. Section 4 addresses briefly the question as to whether the monetary complexity of that period means chaos. The role of social stratification and intermediates in reducing the complexity of monetary plurality is emphasized. Section 5 concludes.
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Date of creation: 03 Aug 2009
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Publication status: Published - Presented, XVth World Economic History Congress, 2009, Utrecht, Netherlands
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Monetary history; monetary plurality; competition; complementarity; Early modern France;
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