Vincent Bignon
U. of Paris X



(Friday, 23rd May 2008)

Title : History of markets

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This workshop focuses on the recent developments in the history of markets with a special emphasis on how markets dealt with the production of information on the quality of the good sold. We will study two specific markets, the money market from the late middle ages to the modern period and the market for French financial information before WW I. The first example illustrates the various intermediaries that sold information on the quality of the coins and the solution that was finally adopted to solve those problems, i.e. adoption of technology that enables agents to distinguish between good and bad coins. The second example illustrates how it is empirically feasible to assess the quality of the information published in newspapers, showing that private intermediaries provides a sufficiently good solution to informational problem on firms’ stocks. The workshop also provides some insights on two other important literature in the history of markets.