Social Science History Seminar

Monday, October 24, 2011
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Baxter B125
Debt Policy Under Constraints Between Philip II, the Cortes and Genoese Bankers
Christophe Chamley, Department of Economics, Boston University,
In the 16th century, Castile created a large nation-wide domestic public debt. A new view of that fiscal system is presented. The main part of the public debt was in perpetual redeemable annuities and its credibility was enhanced by decentralized funding through taxes administered by cities making up the Realm in the Cortes. As in other countries since then, accumulations of short-term debt would be refinanced by long-term debt. Financial crises occurred when the service of the long-term debt reached the revenues of the taxes that funded the domestic long-term debt. They were resolved after protracted negotiations in the Cortes by tax increases and interest rate reductions.
For more information, please contact Sabrina Boschetti by phone at Ext. 4228 or by email at sabrina@hss.caltech.edu.