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Spending, saving, or investing? : Risk management in sixteenth-century Dutch households

Zuijderduijn, Jaco LU and De Moor, Tine (2013) In Economic History Review 66(1). p.38-56
Abstract

In the past one of the main challenges to households was that of coping with adversity. War, plague, famine, and flood were a constant threat, and could reduce what little improvements families had made in productivity. Economic growth therefore required a means of absorbing external adversities. To see how well late medieval households coped with adversity, this investigation focuses on the households of a small town and its surroundings in early modern Holland. Our findings reveal that several severe external shocks around 1500 had little effect on the general level or distribution of wealth, which suggests that certain forms of insurance may have protected the population. The results show that households increasingly invested in... (More)

In the past one of the main challenges to households was that of coping with adversity. War, plague, famine, and flood were a constant threat, and could reduce what little improvements families had made in productivity. Economic growth therefore required a means of absorbing external adversities. To see how well late medieval households coped with adversity, this investigation focuses on the households of a small town and its surroundings in early modern Holland. Our findings reveal that several severe external shocks around 1500 had little effect on the general level or distribution of wealth, which suggests that certain forms of insurance may have protected the population. The results show that households increasingly invested in capital markets rather than employing such techniques as scattered holdings and hoarding. This fact indicates that such investment played a vital role in a household's risk aversion strategy. The change from unproductive to more productive risk-aversion strategies also provides some clues about progress with respect to insurance during Holland's financial revolution. © Economic History Society 2011.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Economic History Review
volume
66
issue
1
pages
19 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:84871288240
ISSN
0013-0117
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-0289.2011.00626.x
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
ea7e1930-fcb4-4787-889e-2fec106a9cd8
date added to LUP
2016-09-15 16:02:51
date last changed
2017-03-26 04:45:02
@article{ea7e1930-fcb4-4787-889e-2fec106a9cd8,
  abstract     = {<p>In the past one of the main challenges to households was that of coping with adversity. War, plague, famine, and flood were a constant threat, and could reduce what little improvements families had made in productivity. Economic growth therefore required a means of absorbing external adversities. To see how well late medieval households coped with adversity, this investigation focuses on the households of a small town and its surroundings in early modern Holland. Our findings reveal that several severe external shocks around 1500 had little effect on the general level or distribution of wealth, which suggests that certain forms of insurance may have protected the population. The results show that households increasingly invested in capital markets rather than employing such techniques as scattered holdings and hoarding. This fact indicates that such investment played a vital role in a household's risk aversion strategy. The change from unproductive to more productive risk-aversion strategies also provides some clues about progress with respect to insurance during Holland's financial revolution. © Economic History Society 2011.</p>},
  author       = {Zuijderduijn, Jaco and De Moor, Tine},
  issn         = {0013-0117},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {38--56},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Economic History Review},
  title        = {Spending, saving, or investing? : Risk management in sixteenth-century Dutch households},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2011.00626.x},
  volume       = {66},
  year         = {2013},
}