Prices and Markets in Ancient Rome

22 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2016 Last revised: 18 Apr 2016

See all articles by Peter Temin

Peter Temin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 4, 2016

Abstract

This paper argues that there was enough buying and selling (emptio venditio) in the early Roman Empire to show that there were markets, and there were enough markets at the time that there was a market economy. I use three examples to make these points, one from my research, one from the research of a younger ancient historian, and one from an older ancient historian. These examples also show the usefulness of a few economic techniques like regression analysis, comparative advantage, and assuming that farmers respond to market prices.

Keywords: ancient markets, regressions, Roman markets, comparative advantage

JEL Classification: B41, N13, P52, C29

Suggested Citation

Temin, Peter, Prices and Markets in Ancient Rome (April 4, 2016). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 16-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2759652 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2759652

Peter Temin (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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