A Market Economy in the Early Roman Empire

33 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2001

See all articles by Peter Temin

Peter Temin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 2001

Abstract

I argue here that the economy of the early Roman Empire was primarily a market economy. The parts of this economy located far from each other were not tied together as tightly as markets often are today, but they still functioned as part of a comprehensive Mediterranean market. There are two reasons why this conclusion is important. First, it brings the description of the Roman economy as a whole into accord with the fragmentary evidence we have about individual market transactions. Second, this synthetic view provides a platform on which to investigate further questions about the origins and eventual demise of the Roman economy and about conditions for the formation and preservation of markets in general.

Keywords: Early Roman Empire, Roman economy, Market economies

JEL Classification: N000

Suggested Citation

Temin, Peter, A Market Economy in the Early Roman Empire (February 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260995 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.260995

Peter Temin (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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