Here is the list of preapproved sessions of the Second Latin American Economic History Congress (CLADHE-II), to be held in Mexico City on February 3-5, 2010. To submit a paper to any of the sessions, you have to go here.
- Robert Lucas, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and 1995 Nobel Prize in Economics, wrote a welcome defense of the predictive power of economics-as-it-is, on occasion of The Economist’s recent criticism on the discipline.
- Lord Robert Skidelsky, Keynes’s biographer and Emeritus Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick, also argues in defence of economics in spite of the Queen’s interpellation to the discipline. Here you can read it in the Financial Times and here in his personal website.
- An interesting article in the NYT on statistics as a profession that faces growing demand and even better salaries.
- A neat note in The Economist on “The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why“, an NBER working paper by Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science in the University of California at Berkeley, and Douglas Irwin, Professor of Arts and Sciences in Dartmouth College.
- An article in The Economist on a new Museum of Handbags and Purses in Amsterdam, with historical evidence of the non-metrosexuality of male purses. Here’s an excerpt:
The very first object on display—the oldest in the collection—proves that man bags are nothing new. It is a 16th-century pouch made of creamy white kid skin. The surface is decorated with rosettes and 18 tiny pockets of the same soft leather. It was probably made for a travelling merchant. At the time men’s clothes did not have pockets, and the bag provided a quickly accessible sorting system for multiple currencies, each pocket reserved for the coins of a particular city.
That’s it for now. I can’t wait to read Ben’s opinion on the WEHC in Utrecht.
Matthee, Rudi (1994) “Coffee in Safavid Iran: Commerce and Consumption”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 37/1, 1-32.
Despite the fact that it took place roughly at the same period, the spread of coffee consumption over the world appear to have occurred independently from the European commercial expansion (p.1). It spread during the early 16th century from Arabia through the Ottoman Empire and to Iran (p.2). The habit may have penetrated the Safavid realm via the heavily Arab-influenced southern shores. The constant wars and exchange of territories between the two empires can only have helped to spread this Turkish custom (p.5). Read the rest of this entry »
Hancock, David J. (2003) “L’émergence d’une économie de réseau (1640-1815). Le vin de Madère”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 58/3, 649-672.
The Atlantic during the early modern period became a coherent “functional unit” integrating three continents; as such it is an essential concept for historians (p.649). In the 18th century in particular the economic linkage intensified (p.650). The rise of the Madeira wine is part of this decentralized and self-organized growth of an integrated Atlantic space. Read the rest of this entry »
“The institution of pawnship, specially the use of people as collateral for credit, helped underpin the Atlantic slave trade” (p.68). Leaving people as collateral solve the trust issue attached to credit (p.69).
Several types of pawnships existed (p.70). Europeans often reported the habit for one to pawn himself if too poor to survive. People also often offered themselves as collateral for a credits and if they failed to repay, they became slaves for debt (p.71). In domestic trade the use of pawns to guarantee a debt seem to have been fairly common in 18th-century West Africa. The institution seems to have been indigenous (p.72). Read the rest of this entry »
Daudin Guillaume (2008) “Domestic trade and market size in late eighteen-century France”, Oxford University: Discussion Papers in Economic and Social History, 32p.
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 »
Blanchard, Ian (1986) “The Continental European Cattle Trades, 1400-1600”, The Economic History Review, 39/3, 427-460.
The European international cattle trade arose in the 1470s out of a “context of a network of regional markets” for locally grazed animals (p.428). Antwerp for instance drew its supplies mostly from Zealand and Holland. The diminutive livestock trade was limited to the Hungarian exports to Venice and some Rhenish towns (Frankfurt, Cologne; p.429). “As gold production recovered in Hungary during the second quarter of the 15th century, […] the economy was subject to the dual pressures of a hard exchange and an excessive money supply which caused its export products to be overpriced on international market and turned a previously strong balance of trade into a decidedly weak one” (p.430). The northern Polish (Breslau, Poznan, Gniezno) products partly replaced the Hungarian cattle after the 1420s, they were exported through the fair of Leipzig. The Hungarian solely retained the south European markets. Read the rest of this entry »
Bolton, Jim L. and Guidi Bruscoli, Francesco (2008) “When did Antwerp replace Bruges as the commercial and financial centre of north-western Europe? The evidence of the Borromei ledger for 1438”, The Economic History Review, 61/2, 360-379.
The classic account of the rise of Antwerp
In the 1940-60s, the Belgian scholar J. A. van Houtte produced what was to become the classical account of the rise of Antwerp. In his view, Bruges was not only the entrepôt where goods from the Mediterranean and the Baltic were exchanged, but also the door to and from the dynamic Flemish market, which at the time was boosted by a large urban population, a wealthy bourgeoisie and the magnificent court of the dukes of Burgundy. Read the rest of this entry »
Epstein, Stephan R. (2000) “States and fair”, in Freedom and Growth. The rise of states and markets in Europe, 1300-1750, Idem, Abingdon: Routeledge, 73-88.
New fairs everywhere
During the second half of the 14th century and the 15th century a great number of fairs were created around Europe. Testimony to their success, most of them lasted until the 1500s and beyond. They responded to the problems posed by the lack of “cheap and flexible system of distribution” over the continent, specially between the depopulated cattle-grazing uplands and the meat-, wool- and dairy-consuming towns (p.75). Livestock fairs where thus “often set up at the foot of major mountain passes”, Besançon for instance (p.76). Read the rest of this entry »
Munro, John H. (2006) “South German silver, European textiles, and Venetian trade with the Levant and Ottoman Empire, c. 1370 to c. 1720: a non-Mercantilist approach to the balance of payment problem”, in Relazione economiche tra Europea e mondo islamico, seccoli XII – XVII, ed. Simonetta Cavaciocchi, Florence: Le Monnier, 905-960.
For mercantilists, gold and silver are not just mediums of exchange but the most tangible form of wealth (store of value) and a country’s veritable life-blood. In their view, the economic contraction of the later 14th and 15th centuries were caused by the outflow of precious metal to the East (p.905). But according to J. H. Munro, there was no such thing as a ‘bullion famine’, at worst some “periodic scarcity of coined money” in 1320-1340, 1370-1420, and 1440-1470 (p.906). Read the rest of this entry »
Panzac, Daniel (1992) “International and Domestic Maritime trade in the Ottoman Empire during the 18th Century”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 24/2, 189-206.
“A glance at a map shows what an important role the sea played in the vast empire of the Ottomans in the 18th century, linking as it did the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa that made up the Old World. The Ottoman Empire dominated not only the eastern Mediterranean but also the major part of the southern shore of the western Mediterranean, the Black Sea-a “Turkish lake” until the 1780s-the Red Sea, and part of the Arab/Persian Gulf. Geography gave the sea a decisive role in the trade that took place in the Ottoman Empire both internationally and domestically” (p.189). Read the rest of this entry »
Bulut, Mehmet (2002) “The Role of the Ottoman and Dutch in the Commercial Integration between the Levant and Atlantic in the Seventeenth Century”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 45/2, 197-230.
Large trade volume and significant bullion transfer testify of the advanced integration between the Ottoman Empire and Europe in the early modern period (p.197). The discovery of the Cape route had gradually weakened the Ottoman position as Europe’s middleman, but by the end of the 16th century it remained significant (p.198). To replace the vanishing fiscal revenues, the Ottoman rulers granted trading privileges (the so-called capitulations) to European nations who were consequently attracted to the Levant ports. But these efforts were unable to limit the Rise of the West of which the commercial integration of the Levant and the Atlantic is a part (p.199). Read the rest of this entry »