39

Very obscure historical example: From 1287 to 1295, the Danish nobleman Stig Andersen Hvide was leading a band of outlaws from the island of Hjelm supported by the king of Norway against the king of Denmark. Stig managed to kidnap expert coin makers and bring them to Hjelm, where they produced counterfeit Danish coins. This allowed Stig and his supporters to ...


29

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bernhard (an exercise by Nazi Germany to forge British bank notes. The initial plan was to drop the notes over Britain to bring about a collapse of the British economy during the Second World War. )


20

dtcm840's answer is about as good as you're going to do for a single actual number: it is clear, well-sourced, and almost certainly misleading. That's not their fault: all comparisons over time periods this far off are rendered meaningless by the very different markets & relative prices of commodities & labor between now and then. This question does ...


13

David Petruccelli writes in "Banknotes from the Underground: Counterfeiting and the International Order in Interwar Europe" In December 1925, a group of Hungarian nationalists were caught trying to put into circulation a large quantity of counterfeit francs in a bid to weaken the French economy and fund irredentist action in Central Europe. Edit: ...


9

Necessary Caveats When Discussing Slavery: First before tackling this question it is important to note that this issue is broad and complex. This is because there is no single 'slavery'. For example, slavery under the Roman Empire was not the same as slavery practiced in US south (see Tamin; 2017). Furthermore, even within a given society there might be ...


8

In a detailed review of Clark's book, concluding that its "central theses ... are contradicted by well-known evidence" (p 969), Robert Allen addresses the claim about 1800 and 100,000 BC in a section headed "Malthus in the Very Long Run" (pp 951-5). His criticisms of Clark include: That he has no evidence of living standards in 100,000 BC, but relies on an ...


6

I think it has to do with declining interest in Marxian economics. In the past the Marxian economics, especially the one in Sraffian tradition had much wider appeal. The rate of profit was an important metric in Marxian economics, since Marxian economics makes several important predictions about the rate of profit in 'capitalist' economies (e.g. the ...


6

TL;DR It is fair to say that free markets played a non-trivial role in industrialization and that protectionism in Britain hindered industrialization. However, the Industrial Revolution was caused by many other factors than having relatively free markets. It required Britain to generally adopt set of inclusive institution (of which relatively free markets ...


5

I doubt that the sunk-cost fallacy was a major reason why the Concorde project was pursued for so long (approved by the UK government 1962, entered commercial service 1976). Any "emotional impact on British citizens" that it was feared cancellation would cause would more likely have been due to a loss of national prestige (this was a time when many in ...


5

It has certainly been argued in various places that Haiti was the "richest" colony. It's obviously difficult to reconstruct modern measures of wealth such as per capita income for historical territories, and the metric of "rich" that mattered in the day was how much revenue could be extracted by the colonial government, so assessments may be skewed towards ...


5

According to some yes. In this (historically oriented) view, whatever succeeded feudalism is called capitalism. Capitalism, broadly accepted as a phase of history, is dominating the last half-a-millennium. It has also become conventional that capitalism itself had various phases and stages. Its antecedents go back to ancient history. Barter and exchange of ...


4

There are several other economists/observers that share view that this was time of growth and relative stability. For example, according to Smiley writing for the Economic History Association 1920s are a period of vigorous, vital economic growth. Smiley is drawing upon quite wide list of research on economic history that generally shares that view. I mean ...


3

The site has actually multiple estimates for historical UK/England GDP (as the Maddison data include data for UK as well). But based on your question I will assume you are referring to this chart: As the chart itself states the sources for the data are Campbell, Klein, Overton & van Leeuwen(2015) and Bank of England (2020). Summarizing a methodology and ...


3

Data for the United States 1789 - 2019. The IMF has the Historical Public Debt Database. It has data for almost every country with varying starting dates depending on country. From my brief analysis France, Spain, Belgium, and Italy all appear to have exceeded 100% debt to GDP ratios before 1944.


3

Yes, most of the loans were insured - this is called a credit default swap (CDS) that an insurance company insures a bank loan in case of a default (i.e. when a borrower cannot repay, the insurer pays the bank). Banks and insurance companies were making an unprecedented amount of money through this practice. However, when the housing bubble burst, too many ...


3

Institutions are likely having a permanent effects as they create path dependency which implies that even temporary shocks would have permanent effect. At least that is what is argued by many developmental economists including Acemoglu and Robinson (see Why Nations Fail). Furthermore, they claim that this hold not just for development itself but that the ...


3

There is an ongoing project to try and estimate how close a society is to the ideal, see the indices of economic freedom by the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute. The ones who made They score countries from 0 (all-pervasive state control) to 10. Hong Kong (8.91) and Singapore (8.71) are currently the two countries closest to the ideal, according ...


3

Not to be too obvious about it, but couldn't you just say Jeremy Bentham? The calculus of choosing bundles that maximizes pleasure specified a very simple utility function in words.


3

Well presented question. I think that the government was probably not a victim of the fallacy but the British people were. If the British people - falsely - feel that they should continue the project a self-interested government will rationally conclude that continuation is worthwhile for reelection purposes. You cite a part of the memo that I find crucial: &...


3

According to Allen (2001), real wages expanded throughout the 19th century in the UK. You seem to imply that they did not. The graph below shows that the UK (London) had higher wages+cost of living than the rest of Europe (except the Netherlands) for several centuries, whereas the rising productivity in the 19th century (because of industrialisation) enabled ...


3

Why do you think no new money was going into the system? The accounts where unauthorized rather than fake. Wells Fargo charged their existing customers for additional accounts that they did not request. Wells Fargo clients began to notice the fraud after being charged unanticipated fees and receiving unexpected credit or debit cards or lines of credit. ...


3

As argued by Ho (2014) the silver standard helped China because downward trending silver prices were producing mild inflation during the period 1929-31 and also helped to devalue exchange rate between gold and silver. First, as already discussed in this Economics.SE answer, mild inflation is important for an economy to avoid excessive unemployment due to ...


3

A detailed and thoroughly researched analysis of why Britain industrialized first and other countries only later may be found in Robert Allen's The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective. The following quotes are from my own summary of his arguments in a blog post. Had I been asked beforehand for answers to these questions, I might have listed ...


3

This is quite broad question, in fact the full answer to your question would probably require a textbook on urban economics, so also this answer is based on one; Brueckner (2011) Lectures on Urban Economics, MIT press, which is whole book largely dedicated to this (and other urban economics) issue(s). I will try to provide summary of main arguments found in ...


3

The Wall Street Journal ran a great article comparing cryptocurrency sizes. The article compared the asset classes by relative market capitalizations if you added everything up. Source: WSJ Source: WSJ


3

What are some good Phd or research programs for Economic History / Economic Thought History? The RePEc/IDEAS website publishes various rankings in economics. I would suggest checking out their ranking of authors working in Business, Economic & Financial History or History & Philosophy of Economics and see if there are people that you'd like to work ...


2

This is a "there can be no adequate answer" answer, for periods prior to "imperialism as a world system." (Personally, I'd pick 1880s here, ymmv.) Gross domestic product as a conceptual tool contains a number of assumptions about how economies function which are unsustainable prior to the generalisation of capitalism in the Marxian sense. While it might ...


2

Unfortunately, I'm not sure this will really answer the questions you raised to your satisfaction, but I can at least give some of them a try: First Note: It wasn't 40% of the GDP of the Empire, but rather the 20 million GBP sum was equivalent to 40% of their annual governmental expenditures (or 5% of the Empire's contemporary GDP) source here. Regarding ...


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