Monetary and Financial History

Semester 4


Éric Monnet, Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur

This class aims at introducing to the history of money, banking and finance both at the micro and macroeconomic levels. It will present the development of monetary and financial instruments and institutions from early modern period, focusing mostly on the 19th and 20th century. It will emphasize both the need to properly understand a particular historical context in its socio-historical depth and the usefulness of economic theory and statistics when trying to understand what happened then.

For each session, students have to read one of the two articles that complement the previous session, and to write a short note on it (less than one page) highlighting criticisms and questions. This will help starting the discussion during the class. These short notes are not graded. This is pass or fail. If you miss more than 1, you will get 5 points subtracted from the final grade of the course. Each session starts by a discussion of two required readings. The professors introduce the articles and ask questions that students are invited to answer online through audio interventions or in the chat. Students also ask their own questions on the articles during the general discussion.

The second half of the session is devoted to a formal lecture by the two professors. The required readings for the next session will be based on this lecture. It means that students read papers on a specific topic after having attended an introductory lecture on this topic in the previous course. This is intended to facilitate reading and online discussion.

For example, the lecture of the 1st session is on medieval commodity money and students are asked to read two papers on commodity money for the 2nd session (by Von Glahn and Pamuk). The 2nd session will start by a discussion of these two papers. Thus, the first session is an exception: students are asked to read two papers (Redish and Gorton) without any introductory lecture. These two papers are accessible and do not require previous knowledge of financial history. Furthermore, these two papers are good introductions to the course. The slides of the lecture and required readings are available before each session on the website of the course.

Evaluation: For the final grade, students will be asked to summarize and discuss in length two of those required readings papers (either the two of the same course sessions, or two chosen in different sessions), using in particular the discussions that took place in class (3-4 pages per paper).


- Éric Monnet (<a href="">
- Pierre-Cyrille Hautcœur (<a href="">

Pratical information: Information pratique: S4, 24h, Campus Jourdan.