A1 - Jacques Melitz
TI - Some Doubts about the Economic Analysis of the Flow of Silver to China in 1550-1820
IS - 2017-19
T3 - Working Papers
KW - Silver Flows into China 1550-1820
KW - Silver/Gold Exchange Rates
KW - Transaction Costs in International Trade
N2 - The paper takes issue with the mainstream economic analysis of the enormous flow of silver into China in 1550-1820. First, I challenge the view that arbitrage between gold and silver in European trade with China was important except for one twenty-year spell. Next, I argue that had China imported gold, its history would have been much the same. I also dispute the idea that the persistence of the silver inflows from 1550 to 1820 implies any persistent disequilibrium, and I maintain that economic theory can easily accommodate the view that the inflow of silver into China sponsored growth in China.
ER -