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France and the Failure to Modernize Macroeconomic Institutions

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  • Eugene White

    ()
    (Rutgers University and NBER)

Abstract

While a great power in the eighteenth century, France fell behind Britain's lead in modernizing her macroeconomic institutions. This paper examines the development of French macroeconomic institutions from the middle ages to the eighteenth century in a comparative framework. Theories of optimal macroeconomic policy and sovereign debt identify the key weaknesses of French institutions that imposed inferior policy choices on the government. Radical reform was blocked by a political economy created by medieval and early modern France. The difficulty experienced by the government in mobilizing resources to fight wars was a key factor contributing to the loss of France's overseas empire in the eighteenth century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 199904.

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Date of creation: 03 Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:199904

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Related research

Keywords: France; History; Macroeconomic policy;

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References

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  1. Neal,Larry, 1994. "The Rise of Financial Capitalism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521457385, April.
  2. Glassman, Debra & Redish, Angela, 1988. "Currency depreciation in early modern England and France," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 75-97, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Cantoni, Davide & Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A. & Johnson, Simon, 2010. "The Consequences of Radical Reform: The French Revolution," Munich Reprints in Economics 20003, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Eugene White, 2001. "France's Slow Transition from Privatized to Government-Administered Tax Collection: Tax Farming in the Eighteenth Century," Departmental Working Papers 200116, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. Peter L. Rousseau & Richard Sylla, 2003. "Financial Systems, Economic Growth, and Globalization," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 373-416 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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