The Ottoman Empire stood at a crossroads of intercontinental trade, stretching from the Balkans and the Black Sea region through the present day Middle East and most of the North African coast for six centuries up to World War I. The articles in this volume by a leading economic historian examine its economic institutions, the long term performance of the Ottoman economy and explore the reasons for the longevity of this large empire. Until recently, historiography had depicted an empire in decline after the 16th century. These articles argue, however, that the Ottoman state and society showed considerable ability to reorganize and adapt to changing circumstances through selective institutional change, well before the reforms of the nineteenth century. They also make the case that, until the 19th century, standards of living in many parts of the empire were not very different from those prevailing in most parts of continental Europe.
Sevket Pamuk is Professor of Economics and Economic History in the Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History and Department of Economics, BogaziAi (Bosphorus) University, Turkey.
Contents: Introduction; Institutional change and the longevity of the Ottoman Empire, 1500-1800; Ottoman interventionism in economic and monetary affairs; The Ottoman monetary system and frontier territories in Europe, 1500-1700; The evolution of financial institutions in the Ottoman Empire, 1600-1914; The price revolution in the Ottoman Empire reconsidered; Prices in the Ottoman Empire, 1469-1914; In the absence of domestic currency: debased European coinage in the 17th-century Ottoman Empire; The great Ottoman debasement, 1808-1844: a political economy framework; From debasement to external borrowing: changing forms of deficit finance in the Ottoman Empire, 1750-1914; The Middle East in 19th century world trade; Anatolia and Egypt during the 19th century: a comparison of foreign trade and foreign investment; The Ottoman Empire in the 'Great Depression' of 1873-1896; The Ottoman economy in World War I; Real wages and standards of living in the Ottoman Empire, 1489-1914; Estimating economic growth in the Middle East since 1820. Index.