Proposal preview

The Pan-European Crises of 1719-1720: New Perspectives on the Nature of Financial Behaviour

This session proposes to bring together papers that present new evidence and fresh thinking on a crucial moment in the unfolding of financial capitalism: the crises of 1719 and 1720.
Economists have long disputed whether the 1719/1720 bubbles that emerged from the British South Sea, French Mississippi and Dutch ‘Wind-trade’ schemes were ‘rational’ bubbles based on fundamentals. Yet, behavioural economists have shown that rationality cannot adequately explain the market. It is time to develop more nuanced, historically grounded, approaches to early financial markets over and above rationality. How can we explore subjective biases and historically specific expectations and practices that informed market behaviour? How did local traditions, global circumstances and imperial competition shape expectations? How can we factor in these issues when studying price movements? How was the value of credit expressed and maintained? How did negotiations between the state, financiers and the public shape markets? These are the larger questions that this panel will explore through case studies of the crises that unfolded between 1719 and 1720.
We will not confine ourselves to any one nation alone, but to extend our perspective outwards to include not only Britain and the Netherlands, but also France, and crucially a larger number of European states and principalities that came to join the speculative boom during this period. Agreed papers will cover the extent of the crises, investors’ experience and their behavioural biases, questions of innovation, speculation and their diffusion, and the contested conceptualisation of crises and their aftermaths. We will welcome additional papers that cast new light on investing networks involving centres of speculation such as London, Paris, Amsterdam and smaller venues such as Dublin, Hamburg and Bern and papers that study experience of investors in such dynamic settings.
The concluding discussion will unpack methodological and theoretical implications for understanding more recent crises.

Organizer(s)

  • Koji Yamamoto, University of Tokyo, koji4649@gmail.com, Japan
  • Anne Murphy, University of Hertfordshire, a.l.murphy@herts.ac.uk , UK
  • Inger Leemans, University of Amsterdam, i.b.leemans@vu.nl, The Netherlands

Session members

  • William Deringer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, deringer@mit.edu
  • Stefano Condorelli, University of Bern, stefanocondorelli1@gmail.com

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Karel Davids, University of Amsterdam, c.a.davids@vu.nl

This panel has Call for Papers open.
If you are interested in participating, please contact the panel organizer(s) to submit a proposal.

  • Koji Yamamoto, University of Tokyo, koji4649@gmail.com, Japan
  • Anne Murphy, University of Hertfordshire, a.l.murphy@herts.ac.uk , UK
  • Inger Leemans, University of Amsterdam, i.b.leemans@vu.nl, The Netherlands