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Risky Institutions: Political Regimes and the Cost of Public Borrowing in Early Modern Italy

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  • Chilosi, David

Abstract

This paper tests whether and how political regimes influenced the cost of public borrowing by comparatively and quantitatively examining a newly compiled dataset on public annuities in early modern Italy. The analysis finds that overall political regimes mattered a lot, but there were important differences across their dimensions. Fiscal centralisation, particularly in the eighteenth century, was not associated with significant decreases in the interest rates. Jurisdictional fragmentation was on the whole the most important variable, with feudalism and to a lesser extent clerical influence significantly increasing the cost of borrowing. Constitution al representation was even more important than jurisdictional fragmentation within republics, but a republican constitution had an ambivalent effect: while it decreased the risk of default it could also lead to an increase in interest rates, depending on the specific institutional setting, contingency and path-dependency.
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  • Chilosi, David, 2014. "Risky Institutions: Political Regimes and the Cost of Public Borrowing in Early Modern Italy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 887-915, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:74:y:2014:i:03:p:887-915_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Chilosi, David & Federico, Giovanni, 2015. "Early globalizations: The integration of Asia in the world economy, 1800–1938," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-18.
    2. Chilosi, David & Schulze, Max-Stephan & Volckart, Oliver, 2018. "Benefits of Empire? Capital Market Integration North and South of the Alps, 1350–1800," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 78(03), pages 637-672, September.
    3. Alberto Feenstra, 2015. "Circumventing credible commitment: GroningenÕs default and the Dutch RepublicÕs federal escape route, 1666-1761," Working Papers 0075, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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