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The amazing synchronicity of the Global Development (the 1300s-1450s). An institutional approach to the globalization of the late Middle Ages

Listed author(s):
  • Badalian, Lucy
  • Krivorotov, Victor

In a new approach to a long-ranging debate on the causes of the Late Medieval Debasement, we offer an institutional case-study of Russia and the Levant. Avoiding the complexity of the “upstream” financial/minting centres of Western Europe, we consider the effects of debasement “downstream”, in resource-exporting periphery countries. The paper shows the amazing synchronicity of the worldwide appearance of the early modern trading system, associated with capitalism or commercial society. The centre-periphery feedback loop amplified trends and pushed towards economic and institutional changes. This is illustrated via the Hanseatic-Novgorodian and Italian-Levantine trade – under growing market pressure of the exploding transaction costs, the oligopolies gradually dissolved and were replaced by the British-Dutch traders. In this case-study the late-medieval/early-modern monetary integration served as the transitional institutional base for reducing transaction costs during a dramatic global shift. Highlighting centre-periphery links, a new trading outpost of Arkhangelsk rose synchronously with Amsterdam.

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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 27906.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27906
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LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.

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  1. Chilosi, David & Volckart, Oliver, 2009. "Money, states and empire: financial integration cycles and institutional change in Central Europe, 1400-1520," Economic History Working Papers 27884, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  2. Volckart, Oliver, 2008. "‘The big problem of the petty coins’, and how it could be solved in the late Middle Ages," Economic History Working Papers 22310, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  3. Crafts, Nicholas F R, 1996. "The First Industrial Revolution: A Guided Tour for Growth Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 197-201, May.
  4. Badalian, Lucy & Krivorotov, Victor, 2008. "Technological Shift and the Rise of a New Finance System. The Market-pendulum Model," European Journal of Economic and Social Systems, Lavoisier, vol. 21(2), pages 233-266.
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