Proposal preview

Money markets, monetary areas and their institutions XVII-XXth centuries

Research on the space dimension in monetary and financial history is no longer the blank space it was for long time. While the main questions debated today in the field of monetary markets are those of international or regional monetary systems, it seems interesting to focus on the earlier phases of monetary integration as well as on the transition periods like industrialization. In the recent discussions about monetary systems a strong trend suggests that more local scales are a better field to try to analyse the functioning of the relationships between currencies. The aim of the present session is to deal with the setting up of national monetary markets, from the establishment of the different national currencies which are one of the pillars of the building up of the national states to the attempts to building up monetary regional areas.
At the level of a specific country, what are the ways leading to the monetary unification and what were the main actors of this unification: merchants, banks, the state? The reasons of this monetary unification were the need to accompany the extension of trade, the easing of taxes payments, the will to smooth the differences between the regional interest rates when they were to wide. The setting up of a national monetary system was closely linked with these of the domestic money market, notably through the development of a large enough discount market. We have also to consider the fact that the space of money market is not always the national space as seen in the case of the Euro.
The shape of money markets varies according to the unified character of the money circulation. It precedes and arouses the creation of central banks. National economies were never closed or isolated from the rest of the world; the trading of goods and services, the flows of money therefore let to numerous links between national currencies areas: the firsts forms of national markets have immediately international features. Thus, national capital markets must be studied in interaction with international capital markets: the two levels are to be studied together for they are linked.
The history of the German Mark or that of the American dollar for example are rich in problems and questions concerning the progressive building-up of the national monetary areas which depends just as well on the international relationship as on the formation of a national economic market. In which the discount markets are at the same time signs, factors, and consequences. What leads at the other end of the scale to consider the attempts of monetary unions or of international monetary unification.
The aim of this session is to gather scholars interested in exploring some of these issues or other in the same field of the history of money markets. The organizers welcome papers dealing with cases from different parts of the world and different time periods.


  • André Straus, CNRS Paris,, France
  • Laure Quennouëlle Corre, CNRS Paris,, France

Session members

  • Joel Felix, Reading University,
  • Ghislain Moupebele Makadjoka, EHESS Paris,
  • Anders Ögren, University of Lund,
  • Hans-Michael Trautwein, Oldenburg University,
  • André Straus, CNRS Paris,
  • Laure Quennouëlle Corre, CNRS Paris,
  • Francisco Cebreiro Ares, Facultade de Historia Universidade de Santiago de Compostela,
  • Nadia Matringe, London School of Economics,
  • Maria Stella Chiaruttini, European University Institute,
  • Ivo Maes, National Bank of Belgium,
  • Rebeca Gomez, Lyon 2 University,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Richard Sylla, Stern New York University,
  • Catherine Schenk, Glasgow University,


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