The efficiency of the Chinese silver standard, 1920-33

Market fragmentation prevailed in China during its Republican and Nationalist periods. That is what most of the existing literature says, at least: domestic markets were segmented due to a largely self-sufficient peasant economy, backward transport, and low state capacity. The latter led to political instability and various warlords controlling different regions of the country. As a consequence, port cities and the countryside had independent markets, which limited economic growth.

In a new CEPR discussion paper (joint with Liuyan Zhao of the school of economics of Peking University), we test for money market integration in China during 1920-1933 using a new dataset of daily domestic exchange rates. We consider four Chinese cities, all of which were on a silver standard, for 1920-1933. We find that despite political instability, domestic financial markets were highly integrated.

With the exception of the period of the Northern Expedition (09/1926-12/1928), the
exchange-market efficiency of the Chinese silver standard was not much different in magnitude to that of the classical Dollar-Sterling gold standard before World War I. We hence conclude that there was a substantial degree of Chinese financial markets integration before the Sino-Japanese War, and we attribute this fact to technological advancements
such as the rapidly explanding railway and telegraph lines, to monetary innovations, and
to China’s low labor costs which contributed towards low transportation costs.

Our study carries implications for the historical understanding of market integration
at a time of political disintegration during the Warlord Era and the early years of the
Nanjing Decade. The finding that the Chinese silver standard was remarkably efficient
at this time of political turmoil and weak state capacity implies that Chinese economic
development in the period up to the Sino-Japanese War was kept in check by factors
other than lack of domestic market integration.

A open access version of our paper is here. The CEPR discussion paper version is here.

Looking for an economic history fellowship?

Please get in touch with me, as soon as possible and surely before the end of the month, in case you are interested in applying to join an ambitious economic history team at ICS in Lisbon – Portugal’s elite social sciences institute, where I have a secondary appointment. I am part of the “power, society and globalization” research group.

ICS-ULisboa is an international, interdisciplinary academic research centre gathering researchers from many different areas of the social sciences as well as from various countries. The Institute, which was evaluated in 2019 as an ‘Institution of Excellence’ by international panels, offers excellent working conditions, financial support for research and international networks. Its premises are located in Lisbon, a beautiful and historical city offering a rich array of cultural and social activities.

Along with the possibility to join the Institute’s vibrant research environment and benefit from its wide international network, successful candidates will be provided with equipped office space, e-mail and internet access, as well as free access to library facilities.

Expressions of interests for applications having ICS-ULisboa as a Host Institution (beneficiary) will be evaluated within the framework of the following Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Individual Fellowships (IF):

European Fellowships (EF), including Career Restart, Reintegration, Society and Enterprise, and Standard European Fellowships

Global Fellowships (GF), which require a research period in a Third Country, followed by a reintegration period at the Host Institution

See the call for details. We particularly encourage applications from young scholars (i.e. think of this as a sort of postdoc), but applications from more senior scholars are also accepted.

Please notice all the rules in the call, including:

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships are available for experienced researchers of any nationality, who must have, at the date of the call deadline, a doctoral degree or at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience.

Eligible candidates must comply with MSCA mobility rules:

For European Fellowships: the researcher cannot have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the beneficiary for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the call deadline;

For Global Fellowships: the researcher cannot have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the Third Country where the outgoing phase takes place for more than 12 months in the three years immediately before the call deadline.

The deadline for submitting applications to ICS-ULisboa is July 3rd, 2020, 11:59 pm (Lisbon time).

The decision to host the candidate will be notified via e-mail by 24 July 2020. Selected candidates will receive full support from the Institute’s R&D unit and supervisors to develop their proposal throughout the submission process.

The final deadline for submissions into the Funding & tender opportunities portal is September 9th, 2020, 5 pm (Brussels time).

For students: What’s the point of economic history?

Due to this post, I often get students from all over the world writing me for advice. Today, I got an email from a student. He writes a long email which includes the following, which I copy here with his permission, having edited it lightly:

I have a strong interest in economic-historical disciplines, especially in quantitative economic history. I would like to ask some sort of philosophical question (that is really important to me) about research in quantitative economic history, and about career perspectives in the field.

I really like the field of quantitative economic history. In my opinion, it represents a really beautiful unity of economics, history and mathematics […] It is always interesting to get to know new insights about how it all worked in the past and what was the precise quantitative effect of A on B. With no doubt, quantitative economic history helps us to expand our understanding of historical development.

But it has started to bother me that it is all just about the past. Yes, quantitative economic history can help us to shed new light on some aspects of historical events and processes, but how can it reflect on the contemporary world? How can we use the knowledge in our modern reality? I mean, all that researches are fascinating indeed, but the fact that even the most brilliant results of them can’t change the world and give humans something valuable (except the renewed and more comprehensive understanding of investigated historical processes, of course). Probably, it sounds a little bit dramatic, but now I am really concerned with the question: how (quantitative) economic history can be useful for society? I would appreciate much if you share with me what do you think about this all.

Also, tell me, please, what fields you think are the most perspective areas of research in (quantitative) economic history nowadays and near future? And what career opportunities do exist for a person who is interested in the area (for example, what to do after a PhD).

There are quite a few different questions here, but they are common ones, so allow me to break this down into two parts.

First, does economic history have any lessons for the present, and indeed the future? I suspect that the feeling that it perhaps does not is also present in the minds of some journalists, politicians, and members of the public. That perception is mistaken, yet it is curious that it doesn’t happen as often about economics. Part of the reason is that not many understand that economics itself needs economic history; just like “the past has useful economics” (a separate discussion, really). I recommend you read O’Rourke’s essay which explains these issues better than I can do here in a short blog post. Although he focuses more on pedagogical aspects that on economic policy, the link should become more evident. Think for a moment: to understand the world we live in today, we need to understand how we got here. So, context matters, and history matters, especially given that so many development outcomes we are about are path-dependent.

Second, about career opportunities. What follows is my viewpoint and others may give you different advice, of course. In my personal opinion, no one should pursue a PhD in Economics or Economic History unless they are sure that they want an academic career. You can change your mind later, of course, and that’s fine. But if you already know that it’s not what you want, then it’s almost surely not for you, and your effort will reveal itself most likely a waste of everyone’s time. It is true that some international policy-type instituons such as the IMF or the World Bank may also require a PhD for certain jobs, and you may be interested in such opportunities too. But whatever you do, the key advice is this: don’t start a PhD just because you want to delay getting a “real” job.

For those who do want to pursue such a PhD in these fields, getting an academic or policy job afterwards is relatively easy compared with other areas of knowledge. There is almost no unemployment, though as in the rest of the labor market for high human capital, the best jobs are getting increasingly harder to get. The quality of the job you will ultimately get will depend of course on the quality of the work you did, and on the quality of the program you enrolled and how well it fit your profile, among other factors. It’s always a good idea to ask any given program which you are considering for their placement history: how well have recent graduates done? And before deciding, make sure to speak with a few current students there, too.

My main advice is: you should do it only if you really like what academic research is all about; financially, there are better opportunities out there, and potentially requiring less hard work too. So, you are now better informed but in the end of the day only you can answer your own question. My hope is that my advice can usefully contribute to your reflection!

The University of Manchester

Why did Latin America fall behind and what explains its human geography?

Leticia Abad and I recently released a new paper, avaliable here, and which is going to be published as a chapter in an edited volume, Globalization and the Early Modern Era: An Iberian Perspective (eds. R. Doblado and A. Garcia-Hiernaux), Palgrave (forthcoming 2020).

The title of the paper is: The Fruits of El Dorado: The Global Impact of American Precious Metals.

Despite the title of this post, the paper’s ambition is to also explain what happened to other parts of the world as well — such as the little divergence within Western Europe (and we also had something to say about Asia and Africa). Nonetheless, we mostly rely on previous work for that; the most innovative focus of our chapter is our argument about Latin America, hence the title of this post.

Here’s the paper’s abstract:

The quest for precious metals and trade routes during the early modern period fundamentally changed the world. What was the global impact of the large deposits of silver and gold which existed in the Americas? In this chapter, we take a global view. We find that in Europe, England and the Netherlands benefited the most. By contrast, the colonizers par excellence, Spain and Portugal, were unable to profit from their colonial expansion. In Latin America, the exploitation of precious mineral resources enabled the geographic expansion of the empire and shaped labor institutions, the fiscal apparatus, and economic activity. The direct impact on other parts of the world was negligible; but the long-term political consequences of European presence shaped the world as we know it today.


Leticia Abad


Nuno Palma

Big debates and economic history: the case of World War II

Economic history matters for big debates. This can be true of even historical national accounting work which to some observers can appear to be as dry a topic as any can be. Here’s an example of why it matters.

In this interview with Tyler Cowen, the notable historian Adam Tooze mentions (from around minute 32) how in writing his celebrated book “Wages of Destruction: the making and breaking of the Nazi economy”, he was critically influenced by the work of top economic historians Angus Maddison and Stephen Broadberry. Their work on productivity comparisons between the USA and Europe, as well as between the UK and continental European countries was of fundamental importance to the formulation of Tooze’s innovative arguments in his book, which relied in part on the rejection of anachronistic assumptions about German economic power prior to (and during) the war.

Tooze’s book rationalizes some of Hitler’s strategic military actions, such as the invasion of the Soviet Union, arguing that it was an ideological but also calculated move to grap resources in antecipation of war with all-mighty USA. The book has at times been criticized for downplaying the role of the UK, but is undeniably brilliant, and it deservingly won the Wolfson History Prize.

Watch the interview here:

“Standards of living in Europe’s Global Empires” session in the WEHC, Paris 2022

This session has been accepted to the World Economic History Conference, which will happen in Paris in 2021.

Update: Due to COVID-19, this conference will instead take place in the summer of 2022.

Session title: “Standards of living in Europe’s Global Empires”

Organizer: Nuno Palma (University of Manchester; ICS, Univ. de Lisboa; CEPR)

Please notice this program is still subject to changes. I will update it as new information arrives.


Pim de Zwart (Wageningen University) and Jan Lucassen (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam): Poverty or Prosperity in Northern India? New Evidence on Real Wages, 1590s-1870s.

Jan Lucassen (IISH, Amsterdam): Deep monetization and real wage developments: India C13th-19th


Calumet Links (LEAP, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University), Erik Green (LEAP, Department of Economic History, Lund University), and Dieter von Fintel (LEAP, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University): Does household structure influence inequality estimates: the case of Khoe of Swellendam 1825.

Kleoniki Alexopoulou (Tuebingen University, Germany) and Filipa Ribeiro da Silva (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, The Netherlands): Free and unfree labour migration in Portuguese Africa, 19th- 20th century

Latin America

Tommy E. Murphy (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina) Truly Bare-Bones: What if Bare Bones Baskets Were Not Fixed?

Angelo Carrara (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro): Living standards of the slave population in mining areas of colonial Brazil


Ewout Frankema (Wageningen University): Exploring Long-term Colonial Legacies Through the Lens of Independence: What Can We Learn From Ethiopia and Thailand?

Hélder Carvalhal (Cidehus, Univ. Évora), Paulo Teodoro de Matos (ISCTE-IUL), and Nuno Palma (Univ. Manchester, Univ. Lisboa; CEPR):  Welfare Benchmarks for Portugal’s Global Empire, 1660-1700


Monetary Policy in Historical Perspective (16th-19th Centuries)

Monetary Policy in Historical Perspective (16th-19th Centuries)

16 October 2020, University of Manchester

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, this conference will instead take place one year later: Friday 15 October 2021.

Organisers: Dr Stefano Locatelli (History, UoM), Dr Nuno Palma (Economics, UoM)

This event (which I previously mentioned here) is sponsored by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, and is the second part of a two-part event organised in collaboration with the History Department, the Department of Economics and the Centre for Economic Cultures at the University of Manchester.


9.00-10.00. Keynote: François Velde (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago), The Neapolitan banks in the context of early modern public banks

10.00-10.20. Coffee break.

11.20-11.40. Nicholas J. Mayhew (Oxford), The medieval roots of the early modern and modern monetary system

10.40-12.00. Kivanç Karaman (Bogaziçi University), The Determinants of the Differences in Price Levels Across Europe, 1300-1914 (with Şevket Pamuk, Malik Çürük, Tilburg and Seçil Yıldırım-Karaman).

12.00-12.20. Mina Ishizu (LSE), How the West India trade fostered the last resort lending by the Bank of England (with Carolyn Sissoko)

12.20-12.40. Adam Brzezinski (Oxford), Monetary Capacity (with R. Bonfatti, K. Karaman and Nuno Palma)

12.40-13.00. Francisco Cebreiro Ares (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela), A Financial Revolution in Spain and the Vales Reales: The History of a Misunderstanding in Monetary Policy at the End of the 18th Century

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.20. Felix Ward (University of Rotterdam), The vagaries of the sea: evidence on the real effects of money from maritime disasters in the Spanish Empire (with Adam Brzezinski, Yao Chen and Nuno Palma)

14.20-14.40. Carlos Javier Charotti (University of Manchester), State, Merchants, and the Bank of England during the Seven Years’ War (with Nuno Palma and Carolyn Sissoko)

14.40-15.00. Carolyn Sissoko (University of the West of England), How Post-War Normalization Caused the 1825 Crisis

15.00-15.20. Jan Greitens (Württemberg), Mid-18th Century Monetary Theory and Policy in Prussia: Johann Graumann and Johann Heinrich Gottlob Justi

15.20-15.40 Coffee break

15.40-16.00. Alejandra Irigoin (LSE), The demand for silver specie (dollar coin) in Qing China until the opening of China (Nanjin 1842, Tianjin 1857-59)

16.00-16.20. Matthias Morys (University of York), Taming the Global Financial Cycle: Central Banks and the Sterlization of Capital Flows in the First Era of Globalization (1891-1913) (with Eric Monnet and Guillaume Bazot)

16.20-16.40. Alba Roldan Marin (Universidad de Barcelona), Reconsidering Spanish Economic History During the Classical Gold Standard Era: Short- and Long-term Analyses

16.40-17.00. Meng Wu (LSE), Adjustments and Vicissitudes: Indirect Notes Issuance in Republican China, 1915-1936 (with Xin Dong)

17.00. END OF CONFERENCE, followed by dinner at 19.00.


What can we learn from two centuries of budget data? (Highlight IV)

This post continues the highlights series. The author is Per F. Andersson, who is a Lecturer at Lund University, and an expert in Comparative Politics, Institutions, and Taxation. He is responsible for the text below, and the amazing dataset he mentions was was put together both by him and by Thomas Brambor.

The data and codebook are available at:


What can we learn from two centuries of budget data? Introducing the “Financing the State: Government Tax Revenue from 1800 to 2012” dataset – Per F. Andersson

The history of the state is closely linked to the history of taxation. Austrian sociologist Rudolf Goldscheid held that “the budget is the skeleton of the state stripped of all misleading ideologies”, and  Joseph A. Schumpeter went even further, famously stating that “The spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure, the deeds its policy may prepare – all this and more is written in its fiscal history, stripped of all phrases. He who knows how to listen to its message here discerns the thunder of world history more clearly than anywhere else ([1918]1991 p. 101).“ If Schumpeter and Goldscheid were right, much can be gained from studying taxation during the last two centuries, an era that saw dramatic changes not only in the extent of taxation but also in economic and political organization.

Given the importance of taxation for understanding politics, state capacity, and economic growth, it is surprising that there is no historical cross-country dataset over government finances. In this post I present an attempt by me and Thomas Brambor to provide this information. The dataset provides information from 31 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela from 1800 (or independence) to 2012. In other words, it includes all South American, North American, and Western European countries with a population of more than one million, plus Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Mexico.

We make three main contributions. First, we move beyond previous historical studies which focus on Western Europe by including North America, all major countries in South America, and Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and Japan. Second, in contrast to existing modern datasets, usually covering a large number of countries but only for a few decades, our dataset goes back to the early nineteenth century. Third, while previous efforts have concentrated on overall revenue or contrasting direct and indirect taxes, we provide more detailed information allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the rise of the modern tax state.

This post begins with a short description of how the dataset was put together, and how it differs from previous efforts (for longer discussion see the online codebook available at: In the second part of the post I demonstrate how the data can be used to explore changes in the size and composition of government revenue during the last two centuries.

Constructing the dataset

The dataset contains information on the public finances of central governments. We focus on tax revenues, defining taxes as compulsory and unrequited levies by the government. The information on tax revenue is presented as a share of the total budget and as a share of total domestic product. We have divided tax revenue from the central state into several categories. First, we are interested in the shares of total revenue coming from direct and indirect taxes. Further, we measure types of direct taxes, namely taxes on property and income. For indirect taxes, we separate excises (taxes on specific goods, such as salt or tobacco), broad-based consumption taxes (such as value-added tax), and taxes on international trade (a complete list of variables and their definitions is available in the codebook.)

Collecting data for a large number of countries over long time spans presents difficult issues regarding measurement and consistency. The overall goal of the data collection has been to create long time series that are internally consistent within a country over time and that connect to contemporary datasets which in turn allow easy continual updates in the future. When different sources of data are combined, there need to be decisions about how to decide which sources to use and how to judge their quality. In addition, using and combining different sources has the potential to introduce measurement error and potentially bias the constructed estimates. In the codebook we describe in detail the decisions about how we integrated disparate sources, and also address a few issues that are relevant for analysis based on these data.

Comparison with related efforts

Previous research using historical tax revenue data either relies on information with a long historical coverage (some even long before 1800, e.g., Dincecco 2009, Karaman and Pamuk 2013) but for a few number of countries — usually Western Europe (Aidt and Jensen 2013), sometimes adding English-speaking off-shoots and Japan (Tanzi and Schuknecht 2000) — or a wide geographic coverage but only for the most recent decades (e.g., Prichard et al. 2014). These efforts rarely provide yearly data (e.g., Tanzi and Schuknecht 2000), or present information only on the size of government (Mauro et al 2013, Karaman and Pamuk 2013).

Many recent papers still rely heavily on Mitchell (2007) (e.g., Beramendi et al. 2019; Lee and Paine 2020). For various reasons we have a different approach which we believe has much to contribute.

Instead of taking existing cross-country databases (such as Mitchell) at face value, we took great pains at comparing and evaluating different sources – often cross checking them with country-specific sources – in order to find as reliable data as possible. During our work we discovered that Mitchell in particular is often unreliable. When comparing the information provided in his volumes with contemporary, high-quality, country-specific data we found two main causes for concern. First, Mitchell is often inconsistent in the way budget items are coded or even which parts of government budgets are presented, which causes problems when interpreting changes over time and across countries. The second problem is that the subcategories of revenues in Mitchell (e.g., direct and indirect taxes) at times sum to more than a hundred percent, which suggest underlying issues in the aggregation process. For these reasons, among others, we have tried to minimize our use of Mitchell as a source, and when we use it, we try to find ways of validating the trustworthiness of his estimates (for example by using country-specific sources).

Overall, a substantial part of our dataset comes from country-specific sources, all listed in the codebook. For users who wish to explore the data in more depth, we also provide detailed information by country allowing analysts to scrutinize by variable which sources were used for every year.

Exploring the data

To begin with, Figures 1 and 2 below present total tax revenues and the share coming from direct and indirect taxes (averages for all countries in the dataset). The figures show how the overall size of the state grew from about six percent of GDP in the nineteenth century to almost twenty percent in the 2000s. During the same period states went from financing themselves mainly through indirect taxes to a more even mix of direct and indirect taxes.



   Figure 1. Central Tax Revenue/GDP


Figure 2. Share of Direct and Indirect Tax Revenue

However, this general development hides important changes within the categories of direct and indirect taxes. As Figure 3 shows, excises and taxes on international trade were the main sources of indirect tax revenue in the nineteenth century, while broad-based consumption taxes – such as value-added tax – became more important in the late twentieth century. Figure 4 shows the evolution of direct taxes in the same period, documenting how property taxes — an important part of budgets in the nineteenth century — were superseded by income taxes in the twentieth century.


    Figure 3. Indirect Taxes.


Figure 4. Direct Taxes.

It is also interesting to observe what happened to taxation around the world during and after major international conflicts. Figure 5 below show total revenues and the share of income taxes — which is considered to be a good indicator of fiscal capacity (e.g., Rogers and Weller 2014) — and three major conflicts: the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and the Second World War. While the number of countries for which we have data (and some did not exist at the time) is lower during the Napoleonic wars, it is still interesting to note that the conflict is neither associated with a permanent increase in income tax share nor in the overall size of the state. The two world wars are different. After World War I, the average size of government remained higher than before the war, and this tendency is even stronger after World War II. Looking at the share of revenue coming from income tax, this tendency is much weaker after World War I: while the share increased dramatically during the war, it decreased after the conflict ended (but not all the way down to pre-war levels). In contrast, income tax revenues not only became hugely important during World War II, they also remained so afterwards.


Figure 5. Size of Government, Income Tax, and War.

Finally, one of the great strengths of our wide geographic coverage is that it allows for comparisons between regions. Figure 6 below shows the evolution of total tax revenues and income tax share between Latin America and Europe.


Figure 6: The Size of Government and Income Tax in Europe and Latin America

There are several interesting things to note. First, although Latin America does not experience an increase in the income tax share during World War I as Europe does, both regions experience an increase in income tax revenues around the time of World War II. Second, between the end of World War II and the mid-1970s, Europe and Latin America relied to a similar extent on income taxes. But after around 1975, the two regions diverge, both in terms of the income tax share and in terms of total tax revenues.

These are just a couple of examples of what can be explored using our dataset. In my own work I have looked into how democracy and urbanization affect the tax mix (Andersson 2018),  how electoral systems condition the impact of ideology on taxation (Andersson 2019a), and how the adoption of taxes affects fiscal capacity and what types of states make these investments (Andersson 2019b). Thomas Brambor has investigated the legacy effect of non-democratic introductions of the income tax (Brambor 2016).

The data and the codebook are available at:


Andersson, Per F. 2018. “Democracy, Urbanization, and Tax Revenue.” Studies in Comparative International Development 53(1):111–150.

Andersson, Per F. 2019. “Power-sharing and Income Taxation in non-Democratic States.” STANCE Working Paper. Lund University.

Andersson, Per F. 2019. “Left-wing Tax Strategy Depends on the Electoral System.” Working Paper. Lund University.

Aidt, Toke ., & Peter S. Jensen. 2013. “Democratization and the size of government: Evidence from the long 19th century”. Public Choice, 157(3/4), 511-542.

Beramendi, Pablo, Mark Dincecco and Melissa Rogers. 2019. “Intra-Elite Competition and Long-Run Fiscal Development.” The Journal of Politics 81(1):49–65.

Brambor, Thomas. 2016. “Fiscal Capacity and the Enduring Legacy of the First Income Tax Law”. Unpublished manuscript: Lund University.

Dincecco, Mark. 2009. “Fiscal Centralization, Limited Government, and Public Revenues in Europe, 1650–1913.” The Journal of Economic History 69(1):48–103.

Flora, Peter, Franz Kraus, and Winfried Pfenning. 1983. State, Economy, and Society in Western Europe 1815-1975: The growth of industrial societies and capitalist economies, Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.

International Monetary Fund (IMF). 2012. “Government finance statistics (GFS).”

Karaman, K. Kivanc and Sevket Pamuk. 2013. “Different Paths to the Modern State in Europe: The Interaction Between Warfare, Economic Structure, and Political Regime.” American Political Science Review 107(3):603–626.

Lee, Alexander and Jack Paine. 2020. “The Great Revenue Divergence”. Working paper.

Mauro, Paolo, Rafael Romeu, Ariel Binder, and Asad Zaman. 2013. “A Modern History of Fiscal Prudence and Profligacy,” IMF working paper WP/13/5

Mitchell, Brian R. 2007. International historical statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750- 2005, 5. ed., New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

, International historical statistics: Europe, 1750-2005, 6. ed., New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

, International historical statistics: the Americas, 1750-2005, 6. ed., New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Prichard Wilson, Alex Cobham and Andrew Goodall. 2014. “The ICTD Government Revenue Dataset” ICTD Working Paper 19.

Rogers, Melissa Ziegler and Nicholas Weller. 2014. “Income taxation and the validity of state capacity indicators.” Journal of Public Policy 34(2):183–206.

Schumpeter, Joseph. 1991. “The Crisis of the Tax State”. In Joseph A. Schumpeter: The Economics and Sociology of Capitalism, ed. Richard Swedberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press. First published in 1918.

Tanzi, Vito & Ludger Schuknecht. 2000. Public spending in the 20th Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Call for Papers: Monetary Policy in Historical Perspective (16th-19th Centuries)

This has been announced in and elsewhere but I have not posted it here yet. The deadline is at the end of next week. I will post the program when we have it.

Call for Papers: Monetary Policy in Historical Perspective (16th-19th Centuries)

16 October 2020 – Keynote speakers: Francois Velde (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Organisers: Dr Stefano Locatelli (History, UoM), Dr Nuno Palma (Economics, UoM)

Submission closes: 31st January 2020 Acceptance notification: 28th February 2020

Abstracts submission:

Registration is free; there will be a limited number of accommodation and travel grants available. Priority will be given to speakers without a faculty position (PhDs and Postdocs). Please, indicate in your email if you need financial support.

To submit papers please email the organisers – include your title and an abstract. There is no need to submit a full paper at this stage, although priority may be given those sending a full text. This workshop will bring together researches interested in exploring different policies and strategies adopted by various actors such as rulers, governments and ordinary people in time of monetary ‘crisis’, as well as normal times, between the 16th and 19th centuries. To what extent did political changes of a territory affects its economy and monetary system and vice versa, and what effects did those ‘local’ changes have on the macro level, i.e. on the process of integration of economic and monetary markets? These are key questions of the proposed event, which also aims at providing a comprehensive discussion of monetary and financial ‘crisis’, taking into account different phenomena such as the provision of precious metals, minting policies, money supply, monetary fluctuations, and financial market integration.

This one-day workshop will be organised on 16th October 2020 and will host Francois Velde (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago) with a contribution on the Neapolitan banks in the context of early modern public banks.

This event is sponsored by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, and is the second part of a two-part event organised in collaboration with the History Department, the Department of Economics and the Centre for Economic Cultures at the University of Manchester.

Great fish market, by Jan Brueghel the Elder
Great fish market *oil on panel *58,5 x 91,5 cm *signed b.l.: BRVEGHEL / 1603