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Books or bullion? Printing, mining and financial integration in Central Europe from the 1460s

  • David Chilosi
  • Oliver Volckart

This paper examines the role of the advent of printing and the mining boom in explaining financial integration in Central Europe from the 1460s. It finds that changes in liquidity were not a major determinant of financial integration, but the mining boom fostered financial links between the mining districts and the rest of the region. Printing promoted financial integration mainly because it triggered a fall in the costs of transmitting information rather than because it facilitated human capital formation or institutional change. The financial significance of the advent of printing was comparable to that of the mining boom.

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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 28986.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:28986
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
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  1. Volckart, Oliver, 2000. "State Building by Bargaining for Monopoly Rents," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 265-91.
  2. Volckart, Oliver, 2002. "Central Europe's way to a market economy, 1000 1800," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 309-337, December.
  3. Duplessis,Robert S., 1997. "Transitions to Capitalism in Early Modern Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521394659, October.
  4. David Chilosi & Oliver Volckart, 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.
  5. Jörg Baten & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2007. "Book production and the onset of modern economic growth," Economics Working Papers 1030, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. David C. Parsley & Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Explaining the Border Effect: The Role of Exchange Rate Variability, Shipping Costs, and Geography," NBER Working Papers 7836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Toniolo, Gianni & Conte, Leandro & Vecchi, Giovanni, 2003. "Monetary Union, institutions and financial market integration: Italy, 1862-1905," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 443-461, October.
  8. Munro, John H., 2000. "The 'New Institutional Economics' and the Changing Fortunes of Fairs in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: the Textile Trades, Warfare, and Transaction Costs," MPRA Paper 11029, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2001.
  9. David Chilosi & Oliver Volckart, 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.
  10. Volckart, Oliver, 2000. "The open constitution and its enemies: competition, rent seeking, and the rise of the modern state," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-17, May.
  11. Flynn, Dennis O., 1978. "A new perspective on the spanish price revolution: The monetary approach to the balance of payments," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 388-406, October.
  12. Federico, Giovanni, 2007. "Market integration and market efficiency: The case of 19th century Italy," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-316, April.
  13. Buringh, Eltjo & Van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2009. "Charting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(02), pages 409-445, June.
  14. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2000. "The Contributions Of The Economics Of Information To Twentieth Century Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1441-1478, November.
  15. Duplessis,Robert S., 1997. "Transitions to Capitalism in Early Modern Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521397735, October.
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