Financial Intermediation in the Early Roman Empire

36 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2002

See all articles by Peter Temin

Peter Temin

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

Date Written: November 2002

Abstract

In this paper I use a theoretical hierarchy of financial sources to evaluate the effectiveness of financial markets in the early Roman Empire. I first review the theory of financial intermediation to describe the hierarchy of financial sources and survey briefly the history of financial intermediation in pre-industrial 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. The issue turns out to be not whether financial markets in Rome resembled those in other advanced agricultural economies, but rather which 18th century European economy did it resemble most closely. 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, for good financial markets and institutions help people who have ideas for production get resources to implement those ideas.

Keywords: Roman Empire, Banking, Credit

JEL Classification: N23, G21

Suggested Citation

Temin, Peter, Financial Intermediation in the Early Roman Empire (November 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=348103 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.348103

Peter Temin (Contact Author)

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

50 Memorial Drive
E52-280a
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-3126 (Phone)
617-253-6915 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
623
Abstract Views
5,792
rank
55,226
PlumX Metrics