Ogilvie S. (2001) The economic world of the Bohemian serf

June 30, 2009

Ogilvie, Sheilagh (2001) “The Economic World of the Bohemian Serf: Economic Concepts, Preferences, and Constraints on the Estate of Friedland, 1583-1692”, The Economic History Review, 54/3, 430-453.

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Economic backwardness in the countryside now and then has often been explained by the peasants’ wholly different decision-making process for economic-related activities. The rural dwellers are said to “lack the concept of costs and profits, and abhor markets, money, and individual gain” (p.430). They’re reputed irrational (p.431).

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Looking back

June 29, 2009

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Don’t believe economists… ever!

Park M. (2003) Guilds and the art market

June 28, 2009

Park, Maarteen (2003) “Guilds and the Development of the Art Market during the Dutch Golden Age”, Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly for the History of Art, 30/3, 236-251.

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The rise of Dutch painting in the 17th century is contemporary with a dramatic expansion of the corporate system (p.236). Traditional art history sees the success of Dutch painting as a reaction against the highly idealized representation of the world provided by Italian art. Economic historians on the other hand have insisted “market forces helped shape, if not caused, the development of Dutch painting”. But supply-side factors may also have had a part in the process; guilds provided a type of organization that influenced Dutch painting. Read the rest of this entry »

The City of London and the slave trade

June 27, 2009

Front page of the FT this week end:

Rothschild and Freshfields founders had links to slavery, papers reveal

By Carola Hoyos

Published: June 26 2009 23:32 | Last updated: June 26 2009 23:32

Two of the biggest names in the City of London had previously undisclosed links to slavery in the British colonies, documents seen by the Financial Times have revealed.

Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the banking family’s 19th-century patriarch, and James William Freshfield, founder of Freshfields, the top City law firm, benefited financially from slavery, records from the National Archives show, even though both have often been portrayed as opponents of slavery.

Far from being a matter of distant history, slavery remains a highly contentious issue in the US, where Rothschild and Freshfields are both active. Read the rest of this entry »

Daudin G. (2008) Is my market bigger than yours?

June 20, 2009

Daudin Guillaume (2008) “Domestic trade and market size in late eighteen-century France”, Oxford University: Discussion Papers in Economic and Social History, 32p.

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This article is available on line


The sheer size of the British market is rarely assumed to be a major explanation of the Industrial Revolution. Britons were less numerous than many other people on the continent but low transportation costs and higher density may have created a more integrated economy and thus a larger market. In this paper, the author uses the Tableaux du Maximum (statistics collected in 1794) to estimate whether France was significantly less integrated than England (p.2). Read the rest of this entry »

Web shopping: On “Taking Stock”

June 17, 2009

Marketplace is an American Public Media production that caught my attention some months ago, due to the quality of the contents.

Now, courtesy of Felix Salmon, I found out that Marketplace has a special series, Taking Stock, where economists give their point of view on the current economic situation.

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Job offer

June 17, 2009

Inspired by Manuel, I’m posting some useful info for once, here is a job offer from the LSE for two part-time fellows: Read the rest of this entry »