The utility of a common coinage: currency unions and the integration of money markets in late medieval Central Europe
This paper employs a new method and dataset to estimate the effect of currency unions on the integration of financial markets in late medieval Central Europe. The analysis reveals that membership in a union was significantly correlated with well-integrated markets. We also examine whether currency unions were endogenous. Our results indicate that where unions were established, markets had been significantly better integrated already in the preceding period. In addition, we show that currency unions created by autonomous merchant towns were better integrated than unions implemented by territorial rulers. The overall implication is that monetary diversity was a corollary of weakly integrated markets in late medieval Central Europe.
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