A Market Economy in the Early Roman Empire
33 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2001
Date Written: February 2001
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: Suggested Citation