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Technologies of money in the Middle Ages: the 'Principles of Minting'

Volckart, Oliver (2018) Technologies of money in the Middle Ages: the 'Principles of Minting'. Economic History working papers (275/2018). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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The paper discusses which options medieval political authorities had to satisfy the demand for complex currencies. It distinguishes several models, each of which caused problems: A first one, where the basic unit was supplemented by a range of other denominations whose weight and purity where exactly proportional. While this did not take the proportionally larger labour costs involved in the production of small change into account, the second model did: here, small change had an over proportionally high content of base metal. In consequence, the stable numerical ratios between units of the same currency began to shift. The third option involved using gold for high purchasing power coins; a strategy that made currencies vulnerable to changes in the relative market prices of gold and silver. Again, the outcome was a that the numerical ratios between units of the same currency became instable. The paper discusses how political authorities chose between these options, how they supplied their mints with the necessary bullion and how minting was organised.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E4 - Money and Interest Rates > E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E5 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit > E52 - Monetary Policy (Targets, Instruments, and Effects)
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N13 - Europe: Pre-1913
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2018 12:43
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:13

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