Money in Asia (1200 – 1900): Small Currencies in Social and Political Contexts


Money in Asia examines two chronic problems that faced early modern monetary economies in East, South, and Southeast Asia: The inability to provide sufficient amounts of small currencies to facilitate local economic transactions and to control currency depreciation. The studies in this volume analyze the social and economic consequences of small currency scarcity and devaluation on various Asian economies and show how various regimes tried to manage these ever-present challenges. They reveal that those regimes that dealt most successfully with these two issues were those with an integrated national approach to monetary policy. Contributors are: Peter Bernholz, Werner Burger, Cao Jin, Mark Elvin, Dennis O. Flynn, Roger Greatrex, Najaf Haider, Reinier H. Hesselink, Elisabeth Kaske, Man-houng Lin, Jane Kate Leonard, Christine Moll-Murata, Keiko Nagase-Reimer, Shan Kunqin, Shimada Ryūto, Ulrich Theobald, Hans Ulrich Vogel, and Willem Wolters
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Biographical Note

Jane Kate Leonard is Professor Emerita of History at the University of Akron and a specialist in Qing thought and institutions. Her publications include Controlling from Afar: The Daoguang Emperor’s Management of the Grand Canal Crisis (1996). Ulrich Theobald is Lecturer of Chinese Studies at Tübingen University. He has published on military labour, war finance and logistics, border peoples and Chinese empresses. He currently works on the changes in the appointment of local officials in nineteenth-century China.

Review Quote

" Money in Asia is a pioneering study that is sure to have the longest of shelf lives, a volume that by its very design encourages further research, reflection, and discussion. Money in Asia is thus a highly recommended addition to every library that considers money and monetary history to be worthy of study." – Simon James Bytheway, Nihon University, in: New Asia Books [Published online 23 February 2016]


All interested in the history of money and monetary policy in pre- or early modern societies, as well as those interested in social and economic aspects of Asian countries, and scholars looking for examples to substantiate theoretical models of monetary theory.