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The Roman Market Economy$
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Peter Temin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147680

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147680.001.0001

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Per Capita GDP in the Early Roman Empire

Per Capita GDP in the Early Roman Empire

(p.243) Chapter 11 Per Capita GDP in the Early Roman Empire
The Roman Market Economy

Peter Temin

Princeton University Press

This chapter draws together the implications of the previous chapters in order to investigate the size of the Roman economy at its maximum extent. If one takes Roman Italy as being comparable to the Netherlands in 1600, then the Roman Empire as a whole is comparable to Europe as a whole. The putative advantages of the early modern Netherlands over Roman Italy are less clear than their advantages over the Roman Empire as a whole. Roman Italy was heavily urbanized, and it is probable that the proportion of the labor force in agriculture there was less than 50 percent. Rome did not have a bond market, but it had a more sophisticated financial system than the Netherlands. The comparability is enhanced by noting that neither the Netherlands nor Rome had an industrial revolution.

Keywords:   Roman economy, Roman Italy, the Netherlands, Roman Empire, labor force, financial system, industrial revolution

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