The Roman Market Economy

Princeton University Press
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The quality of life for ordinary Roman citizens at the height of the Roman Empire probably was better than that of any other large group of people living before the Industrial Revolution. The Roman Market Economy uses the tools of modern economics to show how trade, markets, and the Pax Romana were critical to ancient Rome's prosperity.

Peter Temin, one of the world's foremost economic historians, argues that markets dominated the Roman economy. He traces how the Pax Romana encouraged trade around the Mediterranean, and how Roman law promoted commerce and banking. Temin shows that a reasonably vibrant market for wheat extended throughout the empire, and suggests that the Antonine Plague may have been responsible for turning the stable prices of the early empire into the persistent inflation of the late. He vividly describes how various markets operated in Roman times, from commodities and slaves to the buying and selling of land. Applying modern methods for evaluating economic growth to data culled from historical sources, Temin argues that Roman Italy in the second century was as prosperous as the Dutch Republic in its golden age of the seventeenth century.

The Roman Market Economy reveals how economics can help us understand how the Roman Empire could have ruled seventy million people and endured for centuries.

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Peter Temin
The Leaderless Economy reveals why international financial cooperation is the only solution to today's global economic crisis. In this timely and important book, Peter Temin and David Vines argue that our current predicament is a catastrophe rivaled only by the Great Depression. Taking an in-depth look at the history of both, they explain what went wrong and why, and demonstrate why international leadership is needed to restore prosperity and prevent future crises.

Temin and Vines argue that the financial collapse of the 1930s was an "end-of-regime crisis" in which the economic leader of the nineteenth century, Great Britain, found itself unable to stem international panic as countries abandoned the gold standard. They trace how John Maynard Keynes struggled for years to identify the causes of the Great Depression, and draw valuable lessons from his intellectual journey. Today we are in the midst of a similar crisis, one in which the regime that led the world economy in the twentieth century--that of the United States--is ending. Temin and Vines show how America emerged from World War II as an economic and military powerhouse, but how deregulation and a lax attitude toward international monetary flows left the nation incapable of reining in an overleveraged financial sector and powerless to contain the 2008 financial panic. Fixed exchange rates in Europe and Asia have exacerbated the problem.

The Leaderless Economy provides a blueprint for how renewed international leadership can bring today's industrial nations back into financial balance--domestically and between each other.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 16, 2012
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781400845422
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
History / Ancient / General
History / Ancient / Rome
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Peter Temin
The Leaderless Economy reveals why international financial cooperation is the only solution to today's global economic crisis. In this timely and important book, Peter Temin and David Vines argue that our current predicament is a catastrophe rivaled only by the Great Depression. Taking an in-depth look at the history of both, they explain what went wrong and why, and demonstrate why international leadership is needed to restore prosperity and prevent future crises.

Temin and Vines argue that the financial collapse of the 1930s was an "end-of-regime crisis" in which the economic leader of the nineteenth century, Great Britain, found itself unable to stem international panic as countries abandoned the gold standard. They trace how John Maynard Keynes struggled for years to identify the causes of the Great Depression, and draw valuable lessons from his intellectual journey. Today we are in the midst of a similar crisis, one in which the regime that led the world economy in the twentieth century--that of the United States--is ending. Temin and Vines show how America emerged from World War II as an economic and military powerhouse, but how deregulation and a lax attitude toward international monetary flows left the nation incapable of reining in an overleveraged financial sector and powerless to contain the 2008 financial panic. Fixed exchange rates in Europe and Asia have exacerbated the problem.

The Leaderless Economy provides a blueprint for how renewed international leadership can bring today's industrial nations back into financial balance--domestically and between each other.

Peter Temin
After 1688, Britain underwent a revolution in public finance, and the cost of borrowing declined sharply. Leading scholars have argued that easier credit for the government, made possible by better property-rights protection, lead to a rapid expansion of private credit. The Industrial Revolution, according to this view, is the result of the preceding revolution in public finance. In Prometheus Shackled, prominent economic historians Peter Temin and Hans-Joachim Voth examine this hypothesis using new, detailed archival data from 18th century banks. They conclude the opposite: the financial revolution led to an explosion of public debt, but it stifled private credit. This led to markedly slower growth in the English economy. Temin and Voth collected detailed data from several goldsmith banks: Child's, Gosling's, Freame and Gould, Hoare's, and Duncombe and Kent. The excellent records from Hoare's, founded by Sir Richard Hoare in 1672, offer particular insight. Numerous entrants into the banking business tried their hand at deposit-taking and lending in the early 17th century; few survived and fewer thrived. Hoare's and a small group of competitors did both. Temin and Voth chart the growth of the successful banks in the face of frequent wars and heavy-handed regulations. Their new data allows insights into the interaction between financial and economic development. Government regulations such as (a sharply lower) maximum interest rate caused severe misallocation of credit, and a misguided attempt to lighten the nation's debt burden led directly to the South Sea Bubble in 1720. Frequent wars caused banks to call in loans, resulting in a sharply slower economic growth rate. Based on detailed micro-data, the authors present conclusive evidence that wartime borrowing crowded out investment. Far from fostering economic development, England's financial revolution after 1688 did much to stifle it -- the Hanoverian "warfare state" was a key reason for slow growth during Britain's Industrial Revolution. Prometheus Shackled is a revealing new take on one of the most important periods of economic and financial development.
Stan Finkelstein
A Real Plan for Making Drugs Affordable–and Promoting Innovation, Too

 

 “This book is a necessity for understanding the pharmaceutical industry. Both the pluses and minuses of the present system are set forth with a judicious combination of historical narrative, economic analysis, and statistical data. The highly original proposals for reform will be a major stimulant to analysis and policy-making.”

–Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University

 

“This is a timely book by authors who know what they are talking about. They tackle a big problem: rising drug prices that are threatening to overwhelm us all–and especially those with limited or absent health care insurance. Will we drive people overseas for healthcare? Will there be social unrest? This book describes the problem and then offers a solution. Worth a careful read by everyone, pharmaceutical manufacturers and government policymakers especially.”

–Roger Williams, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of the United States Pharmacopeia and a former

senior official of the Food and Drug Administration

 

“This book confounds two sets of skeptics: Those who say there’s no way to resolve the conflict between the need to fund pharmaceutical research and our desire to keep medicine affordable; and those who think that economics never has anything good to say.”

–Honorable Barney Frank, Congressman from Massachusetts

 

“This book comes at the right time and could become the starting point of discussions, which will eventually lead us into new era in the healthcare care industry. It will without a doubt become a must for insiders of the pharma- and biotech industries.”

–Dr. Jürgen Drews, retired President of Roche Pharmaceutical Group Global Research

 

Acknowledgments viii

About the Authors ix

Introduction xi

 

Chapter 1: Drugs and Drug Prices 1

Chapter 2: The American Way to Discover Drugs 21

Chapter 3: The Drug Industry Today 39

Chapter 4: Are Drug Companies Risky? 59

Chapter 5: How Not to Lower Drug Prices 77

Chapter 6: Squandering R & D Resources 103

Chapter 7: How to Lower Drug Prices 129

 

Appendix: Our Solution in Detail 155


Index 177

 

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