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European goods market integration in the very long run: from the Black Death to the First World War

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  • Federico, Giovanni
  • Schulze, Max-Stephan
  • Volckart, Oliver

Abstract

The paper examines price convergence and increases in the efficiency of wheat markets across Europe from the mid-fourteenth to the early twentieth century. The analysis is based on a new data set of prices from more than 500 markets. Unlike previous research, we find that convergence was a predominantly pre-modern phenomenon. It started in the late fifteenth and reached a first high point in the early seventeenth century - a level of integration that was surpassed only in the nineteenth century. In terms of market integration, the ‘little divergence’ between parts of North-Western Europe and the rest of the continent appears since about 1600. Long-term improvements in market efficiency began in the early sixteenth century, with advances being temporarily as uneven as in price convergence. We trace this to uneven institutional change and the non-synchronous spread of modern media and systems of information transmission that affected the ability of merchants to react to news.

Suggested Citation

  • Federico, Giovanni & Schulze, Max-Stephan & Volckart, Oliver, 2018. "European goods market integration in the very long run: from the Black Death to the First World War," Economic History Working Papers 87184, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:87184
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    Cited by:

    1. Broadberry, Stephen & Gardner, Leigh, 2016. "Economic Development In Africa And Europe: Reciprocal Comparisons," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 11-37, March.
    2. Chilosi, David & Schulze, Max-Stephan & Volckart, Oliver, 2016. "Benefits of empire? Capital market integration north and south of the Alps, 1350-1800," Economic History Working Papers 65346, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    European economic history; market integration; price convergence; market efficiency; long-run development; little divergence; dynamic factor analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative

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