DP14023 The Primary Cause of European Inflation in 1500-1700: Precious Metals or Population? The English Evidence

Author(s): Anthony Edo, Jacques Melitz
Publication Date: September 2019
Keyword(s): " Demography, European economic history 1500-1700, Precious metals, The "Great Inflation
JEL(s): E31, F00, J10, N13, N33
Programme Areas: Economic History, International Macroeconomics and Finance
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14023

We perform the first econometric test to date of the influences of inflows of precious metals and population growth on the "Great Inflation" in Europe following the discov-ery of the New World. The English evidence strongly supports the near-equivalent im-portance of both influences. For 1500-1700, silver is the only relevant precious metal in the estimates. The study controls for urbanization, government spending, mortality crises and climatic changes. The series for inflows of the precious metals into Europe from America and European mining are newly constructed based on the secondary sources.