Two contrasting experiences. The rural land market in sixteenth century Flanders and Brabant
The development of factor markets during the transition from the middle ages into the early modern period was of crucial importance for long term economic growth. However, especially in the Southern Low Countries, the land market remains understudied. In this paper I focus on the late sixteenth-century rural land market, using two case-studies each consisting of three parishes. A first case-study is formed by the parishes of Sleidinge and Evergem situated inland-Flanders near the city of Ghent. The second cases-study comprises the parishes St-Kathelijne Lombeek, Wambeek and Ternat and is located about ten kilometers from Brussels. Our preliminary research garnered several interesting results. Although both case- studies are part of the larger agrosystem of Inland Flanders, market activity (type of plots sold, average acreage sold, yearly turnover etc...) differed greatly between the two regions. Our analysis shows that these contrasting experiences can be explained by a combination of institutional, socio-economic and geographical factors.
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