A macroeconomic analysis of the land market in the count of Flanders and the duchy of Brabant. (fifteenth and sixteenth century)
The rise of factor markets during the transition from the middle ages into the early modern was of crucial importance for long term economic growth. The transmission of property through the market however remains understudied, especially in the Southern Low Countries. In this paper we construct a formal model to analyse the land market both at the regional and interregional level. We found that regional variations in land prices within Brabant and Flanders can for a large part be explained by differences in future net revenues. A similar economic rationality determined land prices at the local level. Further more, evidence showed that while short-term inter-temporal price fluctuations could occur, overall price levels in the fifteenth century were stable. During the sixteenth century however, deflated land prices rose markedly. While the former fluctuations were due to short-term shock, the persistent price rise in the latter period was caused by structural changes. Overall, our research yields two conclusions. First, economic rationality seemed to drive price formation on both the regional and interregional level. Second, the increased availability of credit from the late fifteenth century onwards consistently drove real prices upwards. Further research is necessary to find out whether credit was a push of pull factor in this respect.
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