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We study the regime of multiple note issuers that characterized the Italian monetary system from the unification of Italy in 1861 to the creation of the Bank of Italy in 1893. We describe how the system evolved and we analyze how it functioned by studying the clearing of notes among banks. Since...
Biological living standards stagnated or even declined during the transition to modern economic growth. Although income per capita was increasing, other indicators, such as mortality rates or heights, portrayed a completely different image. This paper adds to the standard of living debate by...
Contingent sovereign debt can create important welfare gains. Nonetheless, there is almost no issuance today. Using hand-collected archival data, we examine the first known case of large-scale use of state-contingent sovereign debt in history. Philip II of Spain entered into hundreds of...
We investigate monthly returns of Belgian stocks listed on the Brussels stock exchange in the period 1838–2010. Our dataset is based on official quotation lists of the stock exchange, and it takes into account all common stocks that were ever listed on the stock exchange during the period...
Although no comprehensive sickness insurance system existed in Japan until the mid-twentieth century, the infant mortality rate in Japan started to decline from the early twentieth century onwards, specifically owing to health improvements in low-income areas. This paper focuses on the impact of...
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