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Estimating medieval market integration: Evidence from exchange rates

  • Volckart, Oliver
  • Wolf, Nikolaus

In this paper we present a new method for estimating market integration under a commodity money system such as that which existed in Europe until the demise of the gold standard. The approach is based on the analysis of deviations between exchange rates and parity, which under conditions of a perfectly functioning and fully integrated market should not exceed the bullion points. Consequently the time needed for adjustment, following a violation of the bullion points, can be used as an indicator of market imperfections and as a measure of integration. We apply this approach to trade between late medieval Flanders, Lübeck and Prussia, our results showing that Flanders-Lübeck constituted a much better-integrated market than Flanders-Prussia. Moreover, the results indicate that the degree of market integration increased between the early fourteenth and the middle of the fifteenth century.

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Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2004/21.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:200421
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  1. N. J. Mayhew, 1974. "Numismatic Evidence and Falling Prices in the Fourteenth Century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, 02.
  2. S. R. Epstein, 1994. "Regional fairs, institutional innovation, and economic growth in late medieval Europe," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 47(3), pages 459-482, 08.
  3. Helge Berger & Carsten Hefeker, 2004. "One Country, One Vote? Labor Market Structure and Voting Rights in the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 1165, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521038218 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Weber, Ernst Juerg, 1996. ""Imaginary" or "Real" Moneys of Account in Medieval Europe? An Econometric Analysis of the Basle Pound, 1365-1429," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 479-495, October.
  6. Sussman, Nathan, 1998. "The Late Medieval Bullion Famine Reconsidered," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(01), pages 126-154, March.
  7. Eugene Canjels & Gauri Prakash-Canjels & Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "Measuring Market Integration: Foreign Exchange Arbitrage and the Gold Standard, 1879-1913," NBER Working Papers 10583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lo, Ming Chien & Zivot, Eric, 2001. "Threshold Cointegration And Nonlinear Adjustment To The Law Of One Price," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(04), pages 533-576, September.
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