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The Rise of Financial Capitalism: International Capital Markets in the Age of Reason
     

The Rise of Financial Capitalism: International Capital Markets in the Age of Reason

by Larry Neal
 
This work establishes the existence of a sophisticated and smoothly functioning system of financial markets in the mercantile states of northwestern Europe throughout the 1700s. Based on computer analysis of thousands of price quotes from the financial press of the eighteenth century, the results should force both historians and economists to reevaluate their

Overview

This work establishes the existence of a sophisticated and smoothly functioning system of financial markets in the mercantile states of northwestern Europe throughout the 1700s. Based on computer analysis of thousands of price quotes from the financial press of the eighteenth century, the results should force both historians and economists to reevaluate their understanding of the evolution of financial markets and their importance for the economic developments of that era. For example, the author finds that the financial crises of the Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles actually aided, rather than retarded the development of the international capital markets. Indeed, the later financial panics of the eighteenth century, when compared to international crises of the nineteenth century, showed closer financial integration in the earlier century. These early capital markets facilitated capital flight from the French Revolution as it spread through the Continent and helped direct foreign capital into finance of the British Industrial Revolution.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...an original and provocative book that breaks new ground in the quantitative history of eighteenth and early nineteenth century financial markets, and it is not a criticism of the book to say that it raises more questions than it answers. Neal provides a synthetic historical framework for analysing financial market development and performance during this period, some detailed evidence on select pieces of that history, and an impressive new source of data, all of which will have a lasting impact on subsequent work in this area." Journal of Economic Literature

"The fascination of this book derives from its blend of story-telling with up-to-date econometrics...As the European Community prepares for greater freedom in capital as well as goods markets, Neal's book provides a sobering historical perspective." Martin Ricketts, The Times Literary Supplement

"Larry Neal's The Rise of Financial Capitalism is everything one would expect from the culmination of a 15-year research project by one of America's leading economic historians of Europe. Solidly though not exclusively based on the exploitation of a voluminous but previously underutilized source of data on English asset prices...the book proceeds to analyze a series of episodes and issues in the history of eighteenth-century financial markets in London, Amsterdam, and to a much lesser extent Paris." David Weir, Journal of Economic History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521382052
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/25/1991
Series:
Studies in Monetary and Financial History
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.91(d)

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