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

Listed author(s):
  • Eltjo Buringh
  • Jan Luiten van Zanden
  • Maarten Bosker

    (Universiteit Utrecht and Erasmus University Rotterdam)

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.

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Paper provided by Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History in its series Working Papers with number 0032.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Handle: RePEc:ucg:wpaper:0032
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University of Utrecht, Drift 10, The Netherlands

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