Did Genoa and Venice Kick a Financial Revolution in the Quattrocento?

Oesterreichische Nationalbank Working Paper No. 112

39 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2007

See all articles by Michele U. Fratianni

Michele U. Fratianni

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy; Universita' Politecnica delle Marche

Franco Spinelli

University of Brescia - Department of Economics

Abstract

Did the city-states of Genoa and Venice kick a financial revolution all the way back in the Quattrocento, much sooner than the financial revolutions of the Netherlands, England and America? To answer this question we analyze the classic revolutions in terms of three key criteria: credibility of debtor's promises, the role of national banks in facilitating the development of financial markets, and the extent and depth of financial and monetary innovations. We then compare the record of Genoa and Venice with the benchmark from the three classic financial revolutions. The upshot is that the two maritime city-states had developed many of the features that were to be found later on in the Netherlands, England and the United States. The importance of Genoa and Venice as financial innovators has been eclipsed by the fact that these two city-states did not survive politically. Instead, the innovations were absorbed in the long chain of financial evolution and, in the process, lost the identity of their creators.

Keywords: Financial revolution, credibility, debt, public bank, Genoa, Venice

JEL Classification: F34, H63, N13

Suggested Citation

Fratianni, Michele and Spinelli, Franco, Did Genoa and Venice Kick a Financial Revolution in the Quattrocento?. Oesterreichische Nationalbank Working Paper No. 112. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=956328

Michele Fratianni (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Economics & Public Policy ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-3360 (Phone)
812-855-3354 (Fax)

Universita' Politecnica delle Marche ( email )

Piazzale Martelli, 8
60121 Ancona
Italy
39-071-2207120 (Phone)

Franco Spinelli

University of Brescia - Department of Economics ( email )

Via San Faustino 74B
Brescia, 25122
Italy

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