Subscription Login to verify subscription
Journal Content

Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

The Price Revolution in Sixteenth-Century Spain: Interest Rates, Payments, and Deadweight Loss

Michael Thomas D'Emic


This article supports scholars who question the hypothesis that the inflation experienced in sixteenth-century Spain was primarily the result of the influx of precious metals from America. It cites evidence of high interest rates and the development of highly efficient clearinghouse payments mechanisms as indications of a dearth, rather than an abundance, of actual silver and gold coinage. The article suggests that market distortions created by cartel-like arrangements in commodities financing and trading may be an overlooked but important cause of the “price revolution” of the time. The article bases its arguments upon evidence provided by firsthand contemporary observers with particular reference to the Castilian wool trade.

Michael Thomas D'Emic, "The Price Revolution in Sixteenth- Century Spain: Interest Rates, Payments, and Deadweight Loss," Journal of Markets & Morality 25, no. 2 (2022): 205-216

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.