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American Precious Metals and their Consequences for Early Modern Europe


  • Nuno Palma

    (Department of Economics, University of Manchester; Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa; CEPR)


Over the early modern period and beyond, massive amounts of silver and gold were found and mined in the Americas. In this paper, I review the consequences for the European economies. Some second-order receiver countries such as England benefited in both the short and long run. First-order receivers such as Spain and Portugal also benefited in the short-run, but their continued exposure to the arrival of massive quantities of precious metals eventually led to loss of competitiveness and an institutional resource curse.

Suggested Citation

  • Nuno Palma, 2019. "American Precious Metals and their Consequences for Early Modern Europe," Working Papers 0174, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0174

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brzezinski, Adam & Chen, Yao & Palma, Nuno Pedro G. & Ward, Felix, 2019. "The vagaries of the sea: evidence on the real effects of money from maritime disasters in the Spanish Empire," CEPR Discussion Papers 14089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Santiago Caballero, Carlos & Palma, Nuno, 2019. "Patterns of Iberian economic growth in the early modern period," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 29185, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.

    More about this item


    American Precious Metals; Early Modern Period; Dutch Disease; Political Institutions; Economic growth; comparative development;

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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