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Soldiers and booze: The rise and decline of a Roman market economy in north-western Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Eltjo Buringh
  • Jan Luiten van Zanden
  • Maarten Bosker

    (Universiteit Utrecht and Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

This study quantifies the importance of the Roman military for the development of a market economy in north-western Europe. Distributions of low denomination coins show how the Roman arrival kick-started a local market economy. Additionally settlement densities of fluvial catchments are used as a proxy for economic development. Our newly constructed dataset of settlement sizes shows a high correlation with Roman military requirements. After the demise of the empire the local market economy faded away. This antique market economy had a different geographical distribution than its medieval successor, which was not mainly driven by military demand.

Suggested Citation

  • Eltjo Buringh & Jan Luiten van Zanden & Maarten Bosker, 2012. "Soldiers and booze: The rise and decline of a Roman market economy in north-western Europe," Working Papers 0032, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0032
    as

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    File URL: http://www.cgeh.nl/sites/default/files/WorkingPapers/CGEH%20WP%20No32%20Buringh%20vanZanden%20Bosker.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Dennison,Tracy, 2011. "The Institutional Framework of Russian Serfdom," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521194488, March.
    3. Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2010. "Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-33, February.
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    5. Greif, Avner, 1994. "On the Political Foundations of the Late Medieval Commercial Revolution: Genoa During the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 271-287, June.
    6. Brooks, Karen & Gardner, Bruce, 2004. "Russian Agriculture in the Transition to a Market Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(3), pages 571-586, April.
    7. Toumanoff, Peter, 1981. "The Development of the Peasant Commune in Russia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 179-184, March.
    8. Casari, Marco, 2007. "Emergence of Endogenous Legal Institutions: Property Rights and Community Governance in the Italian Alps," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(01), pages 191-226, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wahl, Fabian, 2015. "The long shadow of history: Roman legacy and economic development - evidence from the German limes," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 08-2015, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    2. repec:kap:jecgro:v:22:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9144-0 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    market economy; historical development; Roman Empire; north-western Europe; inland waterway transport; coin finds;

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