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Did Genoa and Venice Kick a Financial Revolution in the Quattrocento?

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Author Info

  • Michele Fratianni

    (Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy)

  • Franco Spinelli

    (Università degli Studi di Brescia, Dipartimento di economia.)

Abstract

Did the city-states of Genoa and Venice kick a financial revolution all the way back in the Quattrocento, much sooner than the financial revolutions of the Netherlands, England and America? To answer this question we analyze the classic revolutions in terms of three key criteria: credibility of debtor’s promises, the role of national banks in facilitating the development of financial markets, and the extent and depth of financial and monetary innovations. We then compare the record of Genoa and Venice with the benchmark from the three classic financial revolutions. The upshot is that the two maritime city-states had developed many of the features that were to be found later on in the Netherlands, England and the United States. The importance of Genoa and Venice as financial innovators has been eclipsed by the fact that these two city-states did not survive politically. Instead, the innovations were absorbed in the long chain of financial evolution and, in the process, lost the identity of their creators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank) in its series Working Papers with number 112.

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Length: 60
Date of creation: 18 Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:112

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Keywords: financial revolution; credibility; debt; public bank; Genoa; Venice.;

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References

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  1. Munro, John H., 2002. "The medieval origins of the 'Financial Revolution': usury, rentes, and negotiablity," MPRA Paper 10925, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Sep 2002.
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Cited by:
  1. Svetlana Andrianova & Panicos Demetriades & Chenggang Xu, 2008. "Political Economy Origins of Financial Markets in Europe and Asia," CEDI Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University 08-01, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  2. Kahn, Charles M. & Roberds, William, 2009. "Why pay? An introduction to payments economics," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23, January.
  3. Norman, Ben & Shaw, Rachel & Speight, George, 2011. "The history of interbank settlement arrangements: exploring central banks’ role in the payment system," Bank of England working papers 412, Bank of England.

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