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Money and Monetary Stability in Europe, 1300-1914

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  • Karaman, Kivanç
  • Pamuk, Sevket
  • Yildirim, Secil

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Karaman, Kivanç & Pamuk, Sevket & Yildirim, Secil, 2018. "Money and Monetary Stability in Europe, 1300-1914," CEPR Discussion Papers 12583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12583
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Chen, Yao & Palma, Nuno Pedro G. & Ward, Felix, 2020. "Reconstruction of the Spanish money supply, 1492-1810," CEPR Discussion Papers 15509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Monnet, Eric & Velde, François R., 2020. "Money, Banking, and Old-School Historical Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 15348, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Henriques, Antonio & Palma, Nuno Pedro G., 2019. "Comparative European Institutions and the Little Divergence, 1385-1800," CEPR Discussion Papers 14124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Adam Brzezinski & Roberto Bonfatti & K. KıvançKaraman & Nuno Palma, 2020. "Monetary Capacity," Economics Series Working Papers 926, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. 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).
    7. Irigoin, Alejandra, 2018. "Global silver: Bullion or Specie? Supply and demand in the making of the early modern global economy," MPRA Paper 88859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Nuno Palma, 2019. "American Precious Metals and their Consequences for Early Modern Europe," Working Papers 0174, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    9. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    depreciation; fiat standard; fiscal capacity; gold standard; money; price stability; silver standard;
    All these keywords.

    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

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