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Financial Intermediation in the Early Roman Empire

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2004

PETER TEMIN
Affiliation:
Professor, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02142-1347. E-mail: ptemin@mit.edu

Abstract

I evaluate the effectiveness of financial markets in the early Roman Empire in this article. I review the theory of financial intermediation to describe a hierarchy of financial sources and survey briefly the history of financial intermediation in eighteenth-century Western Europe to provide a standard against which to evaluate the Roman evidence. I then describe the nature of financial arrangements in the early Roman Empire in terms of this hierarchy. This exercise reveals the extent to which the Roman economy resembled more recent societies and sheds light on the prospects for economic growth in the Roman Empire.

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ARTICLES
Copyright
© 2004 The Economic History Association

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