Market performance in the grain market of late medieval Western Europe (ca. 1300-1650)

Bas van Leeuwen, Robin Philips

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

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Late-medieval Europe was a pre-industrial society caught in apparent economic stagnation, which only started to change from the fifteenth century onwards. One of the factors contributing to the lack of economic growth was the apparent absence of integrated and efficient markets. Yet, recently, Clark (2015) - drawing from datasets on grain prices in ca. 200 locations in Britain - showed that the most important market, for grain, became relatively extensive and efficient from the thirteenth century onwards. This chapter builds upon this line of research, putting this research in an international perspective, by compiling a dataset on market performance of 60 different locations across Europe during 1300-1650. Our results indicate that the European grain market showed indeed gradually increasing performance from the fourteenth century onwards. Yet, substantial regional differences existed, with Northwestern Europe in particular benefitting most from market integration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarkets and Exchanges oin Pre-modern and Traditional Societies
EditorsJuan Carlos Moreno Garcia
Place of PublicationOxford and Philadelphia
PublisherOxbow books
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78925-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-78925-611-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • market
  • market performance
  • middle ages
  • ancient economy
  • England
  • Italy
  • France
  • Spain


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