Thursday, April 19, 2012

ISAW Papers 3 (Preprint 19 April 2012): Rome and the Economic Integration of Empire

ISAW Papers 3 (Preprint 19 April 2012)

n.b. [5 November 2012]: is now the permanent URL for ISAW Papers 3.  It is no longer in preprint status.

n.b.  This is not a permanent URL.  Following the preprint period, the  permanent URL will be accessible through:
ISAW Papers
ISSN: 2164-1471

This pre-print is available at the URI as part of the NYU Library's Ancient World Digital Library in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW). More information about ISAW Papers is available on the ISAW website. Please note that both the specific content and appearance of this article may change prior to final publication.

©2012 Gilles Bransbourg
Creative Commons License

The final version will be published at:

ISAW Papers 3 (Forthcoming)

Rome and the Economic Integration of Empire

Gilles Bransbourg *
Abstract: The modern economist Peter Temin has recently used econometrics to argue that the Roman grain market was an integrated and efficient market. This paper gathers additional data and applies further methods of modern economic analysis to reach a different conclusion. It shows that the overall Roman economy was not fully integrated, although the Mediterranean Sea did create some meaningful integration along a few privileged trade routes. Still, it is not possible to identify pure market forces that existed in isolation, since the political structures that maintained the Empire strongly influenced the movement of money and trade goods.

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