IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bou/wpaper/2018-05.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Money and Monetary Stability in Europe, 1300-1914

Author

Listed:
  • Kamil Kivanc Karaman
  • Sevket Pamuk
  • Secil Yildirim

Abstract

This paper investigates the determinants of monetary stability in Europe from the late medieval era until World War I. Through this period, the nominal anchor for monetary policy was the silver/gold equivalent of the monetary unit. States, however, frequently abandoned this anchor, some depreciating their monetary units against silver/gold less than 10 times and others more than 10,000 times between 1500 and 1914. To document patterns of monetary stability and put alternative theories of stability to test, we compile a new data set of silver/gold equivalents of monetary units for all major European states. We find strong support for political and fiscal theories arguing that states with weak executive constraints and intermediate levels of fiscal capacity had less stable monetary units. In contrast, the empirical support for monetary theories emphasizing the mechanics of the monetary system is weak. These findings support the primacy of political and fiscal factors over mechanical factors for monetary stability.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Kamil Kivanc Karaman & Sevket Pamuk & Secil Yildirim, 2018. "Money and Monetary Stability in Europe, 1300-1914," Working Papers 2018/05, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bou:wpaper:2018/05
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.econ.boun.edu.tr/public_html/RePEc/pdf/201805.pdf
    File Function: First version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters, in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press.
    2. Michael D. Bordo, 1995. "The Gold Standard as a `Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval'," NBER Working Papers 5340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mr. Barry J. Eichengreen & Nathan Sussman, 2000. "The International Monetary System in the (Very) Long Run," IMF Working Papers 2000/043, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Arthur J. Rolnick & Warren E. Weber, 1998. "Money, inflation, and output under fiat and commodity standards," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 22(Spr), pages 11-17.
    5. Bordo, Michael D. & Vegh, Carlos A., 2002. "What if Alexander Hamilton had been Argentinean? A comparison of the early monetary experiences of Argentina and the United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 459-494, April.
    6. Keefer, Philip & Stasavage, David, 2002. "Checks and Balances, Private Information, and the Credibility of Monetary Commitments," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 751-774, October.
    7. Nuno Palma, 2018. "Reconstruction of money supply over the long run: the case of England, 1270–1870," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 71(2), pages 373-392, May.
    8. Bordo, Michael D. & Choudhri, Ehsan U. & Fazio, Giorgio & MacDonald, Ronald, 2017. "The real exchange rate in the long run: Balassa-Samuelson effects reconsidered," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 69-92.
    9. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
    10. Carlo M. Cipolla, 1963. "Currency Depreciation in Medieval Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 15(3), pages 413-422, April.
    11. Johnson, Noel D. & Koyama, Mark, 2017. "States and economic growth: Capacity and constraints," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-20.
    12. Rodney Edvinsson & Johan Söderberg, 2011. "A Consumer Price Index For Sweden, 1290–2008," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(2), pages 270-292, June.
    13. Flandreau, Marc, 1996. "The French Crime of 1873: An Essay on the Emergence of the International Gold Standard, 1870–1880," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 862-897, December.
    14. Cvrcek, Tomas, 2013. "Wages, Prices, and Living Standards in the Habsburg Empire, 1827–1910," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-37, March.
    15. Motomura, Akira, 1994. "The Best and Worst of Currencies: Seigniorage and Currency Policy in Spain, 1597–1650," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 104-127, March.
    16. Ari Aisen & Francisco Veiga, 2008. "Political instability and inflation volatility," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 207-223, June.
    17. Moser, Peter, 1999. "Checks and balances, and the supply of central bank independence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1569-1593, August.
    18. Nicola Gennaioli & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2015. "State Capacity and Military Conflict," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1409-1448.
    19. Keefer, Philip & Stasavage, David, 2003. "The Limits of Delegation: Veto Players, Central Bank Independence, and the Credibility of Monetary Policy," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 97(3), pages 407-423, August.
    20. Munro, John H., 2008. "Money, prices, wages, and ‘profit inflation’ in Spain, the Southern Netherlands, and England during the Price Revolution era, ca. 1520 - ca. 1650," MPRA Paper 10849, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2008.
    21. Alan M. Taylor, 2002. "A Century Of Purchasing-Power Parity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 139-150, February.
    22. Reinhart, Karmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. ""This time is different": panorama of eight centuries of financial crises," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 77-114, March.
    23. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2012. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles, and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1029-1061, April.
    24. Palma, Nuno & Reis, Jaime, 2019. "From Convergence to Divergence: Portuguese Economic Growth, 1527–1850," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 477-506, June.
    25. Karaman, K. Kıvanç & Pamuk, Şevket & Yıldırım-Karaman, Seçil, 2020. "Money and monetary stability in Europe, 1300–1914," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 279-300.
    26. Kindleberger, Charles P., 1991. "The Economic Crisis of 1619 to 1623," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 149-175, March.
    27. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    28. Karaman, K. Kivan㇠& Pamuk, Şevket, 2013. "Different Paths to the Modern State in Europe: The Interaction Between Warfare, Economic Structure, and Political Regime," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 603-626, August.
    29. Click, Reid W, 1998. "Seigniorage in a Cross-Section of Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(2), pages 154-171, May.
    30. Selgin, George & White, Lawrence H, 1999. "A Fiscal Theory of Government's Role in Money," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 154-165, January.
    31. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 215-268, November.
    32. Jan Luiten Van Zanden & Eltjo Buringh & Maarten Bosker, 2012. "The rise and decline of European parliaments, 1188–1789," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(3), pages 835-861, August.
    33. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472, Elsevier.
    34. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Preface," MPRA Paper 17451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    35. Bonfatti, Roberto & Brzezinski, Adam & Karaman, Kivanç & Palma, Nuno Pedro G., 2020. "Monetary Capacity," CEPR Discussion Papers 15299, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    36. Arthur J. Rolnick & Francois R. Velde & Warren E. Weber, 1997. "The debasement puzzle: an essay on medieval monetary history," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 21(Fall), pages 8-20.
    37. White, Eugene Nelson, 1995. "The French Revolution and the Politics of Government Finance, 1770–1815," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(2), pages 227-255, June.
    38. François R. Velde & Warren E. Weber & Randall Wright, 1999. "A Model of Commodity Money, with Applications to Gresham's Law and the Debasement Puzzle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 291-323, January.
    39. Bodea, Cristina & Hicks, Raymond, 2015. "Price Stability and Central Bank Independence: Discipline, Credibility, and Democratic Institutions," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 35-61, January.
    40. Madsen, Jakob B. & Raschky, Paul A. & Skali, Ahmed, 2015. "Does democracy drive income in the world, 1500–2000?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 175-195.
    41. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Chapter 1," MPRA Paper 17452, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    42. Hoffman, Philip T., 2015. "What Do States Do? Politics and Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 303-332, June.
    43. Karaman, K. Kivanç & Pamuk, Şevket, 2010. "Ottoman State Finances in European Perspective, 1500–1914," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 593-629, September.
    44. 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.
    45. Allen, Robert C., 2001. "The Great Divergence in European Wages and Prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 411-447, October.
    46. N. J. Mayhew, 1974. "Numismatic Evidence and Falling Prices in the Fourteenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, February.
    47. Özmucur, Süleyman & Pamuk, Şevket, 2002. "Real Wages And Standards Of Living In The Ottoman Empire, 1489–1914," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 62(2), pages 293-321, June.
    48. Lains, Pedro & Cardoso, José Luís, 2009. "Paying for the liberal state : the rise of public finance in nineteenth century Europe," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp09-03, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    49. Chilosi, David & Volckart, Oliver, 2010. "Good or bad money?: debasement, society and the state in the late Middle Ages," Economic History Working Papers 27946, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    50. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 803-832, December.
    51. Sussman, Nathan & Zeira, Joseph, 2003. "Commodity money inflation: theory and evidence from France in 1350-1436," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1769-1793, November.
    52. Cukierman, Alex & Edwards, Sebastian & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "Seigniorage and Political Instability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 537-555, June.
    53. Bordo Michael D. & Kydland Finn E., 1995. "The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 423-464, October.
    54. Stasavage, David, 2007. "Cities, Constitutions, and Sovereign Borrowing in Europe, 1274–1785," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 489-525, July.
    55. Bordo, Michael D. & Rockoff, Hugh, 1996. "The Gold Standard as a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approvalâ€," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 389-428, June.
    56. John H. Munro, 2012. "The Technology and Economics of Coinage Debasements in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: with special reference to the Low Countries and England," Working Papers tecipa-456, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    57. Dincecco, Mark, 2009. "Fiscal Centralization, Limited Government, and Public Revenues in Europe, 1650–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 48-103, March.
    58. Hayo, Bernd & Hefeker, Carsten, 2002. "Reconsidering central bank independence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 653-674, November.
    59. Boix, Carles, 2011. "Democracy, Development, and the International System," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 809-828, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Leticia Arroyo Abad & Nuno Palma, 2020. "The Fruits of El Dorado: The Global Impact of American Precious Metals," Working Papers 0179, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    2. Chen, Yao & Palma, Nuno & Ward, Felix, 2021. "Reconstruction of the Spanish money supply, 1492–1810," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    3. Karaman, K. Kıvanç & Pamuk, Şevket & Yıldırım-Karaman, Seçil, 2020. "Money and monetary stability in Europe, 1300–1914," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 279-300.
    4. Eric Monnet & Francois R. Velde, 2020. "Money, Banking, and Old-School Historical Economics," Working Paper Series WP-2020-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    5. Nuno Palma, 2019. "American Precious Metals and their Consequences for Early Modern Europe," Working Papers 0174, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    6. Ufuk CAN & Zeynep Gizem CAN & Süleyman DEĞİRMEN, 2019. "Paranın Dolaşım Hızının ve Para Talebi Fonksiyonunun Ekonometrik Analizi: Türkiye Örneği," Istanbul Business Research, Istanbul University Business School, vol. 48(2), pages 218-247, November.
    7. António Henriques & Nuno Palma, 2019. "Comparative European Institutions and the Little Divergence, 1385-1800," Working Papers 0171, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    8. Irigoin, Alejandra, 2018. "Global silver: bullion or specie? Supply and demand in the making of the early modern global economy," Economic History Working Papers 90190, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    9. Adam Brzezinski & Roberto Bonfatti & K. KıvançKaraman & Nuno Palma, 2020. "Monetary Capacity," Economics Series Working Papers 926, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sabaté, Marcela & Fillat, Carmen & Escario, Regina, 2019. "Budget deficits and money creation: Exploring their relation before Bretton Woods," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 38-56.
    2. Kim Oosterlinck, 2013. "Sovereign debt defaults: insights from history," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 697-714, WINTER.
    3. Ma, Debin & Rubin, Jared, 2019. "The Paradox of Power: Principal-agent problems and administrative capacity in Imperial China (and other absolutist regimes)," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 277-294.
    4. Eichengreen, Barry & El-Ganainy, Asmaa & Esteves, Rui & Mitchener, Kris James, 2019. "Public Debt Through the Ages," CEPR Discussion Papers 13471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Jon Danielsson & Marcela Valenzuela & Ilknur Zer, 2018. "Learning from History: Volatility and Financial Crises," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(7), pages 2774-2805.
    6. 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.
    7. Piotr Koryś & Maciej Tymiński, 2013. "Polish and Swedish Fiscal Policy in the Years 1772-1792. A Short-Run Analysis," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 33.
    8. Reinsberg, Bernhard & Kern, Andreas & Rau-Göhring, Matthias, 2021. "The political economy of IMF conditionality and central bank independence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    9. Enrico Perotti & Magdelena Rola-Janicka, 2019. "Funding Shocks and Credit Quality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-060/IV, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Stijn Claessens & M. Ayhan Kose, 2013. "Financial Crises: Explanations, Types and Implications," CAMA Working Papers 2013-06, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    11. Beni Kouevi-Gath & Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Laurent Weill, 2021. "Do banking crises improve democracy?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 413-446, March.
    12. Chen, Yao & Palma, Nuno & Ward, Felix, 2021. "Reconstruction of the Spanish money supply, 1492–1810," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    13. Mauro, Paolo & Romeu, Rafael & Binder, Ariel & Zaman, Asad, 2015. "A modern history of fiscal prudence and profligacy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 55-70.
    14. Hartwig, Benny & Meinerding, Christoph & Schüler, Yves S., 2021. "Identifying indicators of systemic risk," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    15. Ozlem Akin & José Montalvo & Jaume García Villar & José-Luis Peydró & Josep Raya, 2014. "The real estate and credit bubble: evidence from Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 223-243, August.
    16. Michael Tomz & Mark L.J. Wright, 2013. "Empirical Research on Sovereign Debt and Default," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 247-272, May.
    17. Aikman, David & Haldane, Andrew & Hinterschweiger, Marc & Kapadia, Sujit, 2018. "Rethinking financial stability," Bank of England working papers 712, Bank of England.
    18. Bjarni G. Einarsson & Kristófer Gunnlaugsson & Thorvardur Tjörvi Ólafsson & Thórarinn G. Pétursson, 2015. "The long history of financial boom-bust cycles in Iceland - Part I: Financial crises," Economics wp68, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    19. Cesa-Bianchi, Ambrogio & Eguren Martin, Fernando & Thwaites, Gregory, 2019. "Foreign booms, domestic busts: The global dimension of banking crises," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 58-74.
    20. Jordà, Òscar & Schularick, Moritz & Taylor, Alan M., 2015. "Leveraged bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(S), pages 1-20.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • 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
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bou:wpaper:2018/05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deboutr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Lutfu Gozgucu (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/deboutr.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.