Grain Markets in Europe, 1500-1900: Integration and Deregulation

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Karl Gunnar Persson surveys a broad sweep of economic history, examining one of the most crucial markets - grain. His analysis allows him to draw more general lessons - for example, that liberalisation of markets was linked to political authoritarianism. Grain Markets in Europe, 1500-1900 traces early regulation to poor performance and frequent market failures. Price volatility caused by harvest shocks was of major concern for central and local government because of the unrest it caused. Regulation became obsolete when markets became more integrated and performed better through trade triggered by falling transport costs. Karl Gunnar Persson, a specialist in economic history, uses insights from development economics, explores contemporary economic thought on the advantages of free trade and measures the extent of market integration using state-of-the-art econometric methods. Grain Markets in Europe, 1500-1900 will be of value to scholars and students in economic history, social history and agricultural and institutional economics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Of ... interest is the author's fruitful incorporation of recent work in welfare economics and price theory, as well as his fresh analysis of French Physiocrats and French and Sweedish deregulation after 1815." Choice

"Persson's book has placed farmers, consumers, agents, and regulators in an impressive analytical framework, and pointed to both the hard economic rationale behind early modern European policy-making and the true impact of its application." International History Review

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations
1 Bread and Enlightenment: the quest for price stability and free trade in eighteenth-century Europe 1
2 Markets, mortality and human capabilities 23
3 Harvest fluctuations, storage and grain-price responses 47
4 Market failures and the regulation of grain markets: a new interpretation 65
5 Market integration and the stabilisation of grain prices in Europe, 1500-1900 91
6 Authoritarian liberalism and the decline of grain market regulation in Europe, 1760-1860 131
Sources 156
Bibliography 160
Index 170
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