The Journal of Economic History

ARTICLES

Money, States, and Empire: Financial Integration and Institutional Change in Central Europe, 1400–1520

David Chilosia1 and Oliver Volckarta2

a1 Research Officer Economic History Department, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom. E-mail: d.chilosi@lse.ac.uk.

a2 Reader Economic History Department, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom. E-mail: o.j.volckart@lse.ac.uk.

Abstract

By analyzing a newly compiled database of exchange rates, this article finds that in Central Europe money markets integrated cyclically during the fifteenth century. The cycles were associated with monetary debasements. Long-distance financial integration progressed in connection with the rise of the territorial state, facilitated by the synergy between princes and emperor, which helped to avoid coordination failures. For Central Europe, theories of state formation and market integration should therefore take interstate actors into account.

(Online publication September 13 2011)

We would like to thank Giovanni Federico, Ling-Fan Li, Klas Rönnbäck, Patrick Wallis, and the participants in the Thesis Workshop in Economic History at the LSE and the “Keeping Your Distance” session at the 8th EHES conference at the Graduate Institute in Geneva for valuable comments on a draft of the article. The research on this project was supported with a grant by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

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