39 votes
Accepted

Are there historical cases of country A printing the currency of country B for the main purpose of economic warfare?

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 ...
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29 votes

Are there historical cases of country A printing the currency of country B for the main purpose of economic warfare?

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 ...
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  • 1,103
20 votes

In today's money, what was the value of a 1492 Spanish maravedí?

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 ...
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  • 361
13 votes

Are there historical cases of country A printing the currency of country B for the main purpose of economic warfare?

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 ...
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  • 26k
9 votes

What determines whether slavery is economically efficient in industrialized/modern era economies?

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, ...
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8 votes

Was the average person no better off in 1800 than in 100,000 BC?

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 ...
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  • 6,693
7 votes
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Why is the rate of profit not important?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Was there any currency backed by other metals than gold, silver or copper?

Spartan iron coins. Roman bronze coins: Aes Grave Chinese bronze coins: Ban liang (one type was bronze, not all) A non-metal "currency" backed by various industrial metals: the ...
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  • 26k
6 votes

Did capitalism exist before the 18th century?

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-...
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  • 3,730
6 votes

Did free markets cause the industrial revolution?

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 ...
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5 votes

Was Haiti the richest society in the world in the late 18th century?

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 ...
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  • 1,346
5 votes

Was the Concorde project an example of the sunk-cost fallacy?

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 ...
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  • 6,693
4 votes
Accepted

Industrial Revolution: Induced technical change and factor shares

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 ...
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  • 8,437
4 votes

Were there any contemporary economists (or other observers) who considered the 1920s a "New Era" of greater growth and stability?

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 ...
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3 votes
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How are historic economic statistics calculated?

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 ...
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3 votes
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Is there a reference that plots different countries' debt-to-GDP ratios over (long) times?

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 ...
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3 votes
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why did the 2008 financial crisis happen inspite of banks having 85% insurance on deposits in U.S.?

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 ...
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3 votes
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How long into the past can we trace the effect of institutions?

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 ...
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3 votes
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What are some historical examples of laissez-faire capitalism?

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 ...
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3 votes
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Who was the inventor of Utility function?

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.
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3 votes

How did Wells Fargo intend to profit by opening up two million fake accounts?

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 ...
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  • 26k
3 votes

Was the Concorde project an example of the sunk-cost fallacy?

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 ...
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  • 26k
3 votes
Accepted

How did the silver standard "insulate" China from the beginning of the Great Depression (1929-1931)

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 ...
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3 votes
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Is there any economic explanation why industrialization first occured in Britain?

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. ...
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  • 6,693
3 votes

What are the economic drivers of urbanisation?

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 ...
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3 votes

How does the size of the largest cryptocurrency compare to the largest traditional currency?

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: ...
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3 votes

What are some good Phd or research programs for Economic History / Economic Thought History?

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 ...
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2 votes

Was the Concorde project an example of the sunk-cost fallacy?

One additional point for the reluctance to show a failure would be the first steps of the European Consortium Airbus starting at the same time, finally disputing the US-dominated market of commercial ...
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