Law and Economic Performance in the Roman World


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This book offers critical analyses of the dynamic relation between legal regulations, institutions and economic performance in the Roman world. It studies how law and legal thought affected economic development, and vice versa. Inspired by New Institutional Economics scholars the past decades used ancient law to explain economic growth. There was, however, no natural selection process directing legal changes towards macro-economic efficiency. Ancient rulers and jurists modified institutions to serve or safeguard particular interests—political, social, or economic. Nevertheless both economic performance and legal scholarship peaked at unprecedented levels. These were momentous historical developments. How were they related?

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Koenraad Verboven, PhD (1998) Ghent, Professor of Ancient History at Ghent University, published extensively on ancient social and economic history, including The Economy of Friends (Latomus 2002) and The Impact of Justice on the Roman Empire (co-ed. O. Hekster, Brill 2019)
Paul Erdkamp, PhD (1998) Nijmegen, Professor of Ancient History at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, published extensively on Roman economic history, including The Grain Market in the Roman Empire (CUP 2005) and Climate and Society in Ancient Worlds (co-ed. J. Manning and K. Verboven, Palgrave 2020)
Contributors are: Ulrike Babusiaux, Alberto Dalla Rosa, Paul Erdkamp, Hernán González Bordas, Stefania Gialdroni, Sven Günther, Lina Girdvainyte, Merav Haklai, Philip Kay, Dennis Kehoe, Emilia Mataix Ferrándiz, Peter Sarris, Boudewijn Sirks, Koenraad Verboven.
This book aims primarily for a scholarly audience, ranging from PhD students to senior experts, interested in and working on ancient economic history.
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