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Grain Prices in Cairo and Europe in the Middle Ages
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2006 (English)In: Research in Economic History, ISSN 0363-3268, Vol. 24, 189-216 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper compares grain prices between Cairo and Europe during medieval times. Prices were higher and more volatile in Cairo than in Europe. Over time, price levels declined in large parts of Europe but not in Cairo.

No price integration can be seen between the European Mediterranean region and Cairo. In north-western Europe, a cluster of urban centers showing similar price movements had emerged in the fourteenth century, at the latest. The Mediterranean area was not integrated into this network. Price integration in north-western Europe may have contributed to the economic advancement of this region in late medieval and early modern times.

Climatic fluctuations (in temperature as well as in the water level of the Nile) affected Cairo grain prices. In Europe, on the other hand, short-term temperature variation did not have an appreciable impact on prices. Western European price integration cannot, it seems, be explained by the existence of a common climatic factor. Early European economic development was facilitated by a robust environment.

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Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI , 2006. Vol. 24, 189-216 p.
Keyword [en]
Grain prices, prices integration, Cairo, Europe, Middle Ages, climate, the Nile
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-42402OAI: diva2:346017
Available from: 2010-08-30 Created: 2010-08-30 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved

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Söderberg, Johan
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