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Title: The role of demographic and monetary factors in the late medieval economies of England, Scotland and the southern Low Countries (1351-1530)
Author: Ball, Katherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 7808
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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The narrative of the post-Black Death English economy has been shaped by two contrasting interpretations: whether England's economy was one of economic decline or prosperity; and whether its economy was largely driven by demographic or monetary factors. These two debates, which both appear to be irreconcilable, are the result of a persistent Anglo-centric approach to the late medieval English economy. My thesis puts the economy of England into the context of Scotland and the southern Low Countries, using comparison to shed new light on these debates. With the addition of both new mint output data from Scotland and annual population estimates for Flanders and Brabant, I employ regression analysis to quantitatively test the extent to which demographic and monetary factors were able to play a determining role in the long-term trends of prices, rents and wages. Thus, my work offers a more rounded approach than previous studies of the impact of money and population on prices, rents and wages. This comparative approach and use of statistical methods offers a number of striking conclusions. First, England's post-Black Death economy was atypical when compared with her trading partners-the currency was unusually stable and the population was unique in its slow recovery. Prices in England remained flatter than elsewhere and appear to have been driven more clearly by demographic factors, though there are caveats to this conclusion. Second, relative to the periods of monetary shortage and undulating prices seen in the southern Low Countries and Scotland, while England's fifteenth-century economy might have lacked the prosperity of the late fourteenth century, it appears to have survived the bullion famine and mid fifteenth-century 'slump' better than elsewhere. England's balance of trade remained positive, and sluggish population recovery after the Black Death kept the per capita money stock buoyant enough to prevent the dramatic price depression seen in the southern Low Countries during the mid fifteenth century. Such conclusions only manifest themselves through my unique combination of triple comparison and statistical analysis.
Supervisor: Mayhew, Nicholas ; Watts, John Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available