At the Birth of Maritime Insurance
ECONOMICS |

At the Birth of Maritime Insurance

THE ERC PROJECT OF MARISTELLA BOTTICINI WILL ANALYSE THOUSANDS OF CONTRACTS STIPULATED IN MEDIEVAL ITALY TO UNDERSTAND HOW THE INSURANCE MARKET WAS BORN

What happens when the “microscope” of historical analysis meets the “telescope” of economic analysis? “A happy marriage”, says Maristella Botticini (Department of Economics), Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded project Contracts, Institutions, and Markets in Historical Perspective, hosted by IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research.
 
Imagine a novel exploration of thousands of maritime insurance contracts for the 14th, 15th and late 16th century housed at the Archivio Datini in Prato and the State Archives of Florence, Geneva, and Palermo. Imagine a software developed to make this dataset available to the scientific community. These are just a few features of a project focused on marine insurance contracts developed in medieval Italy and that later spread all over Europe: they are the “fathers” of all insurance contracts and they contributed to the growth of international trade. The project is about to provide answers to some questions: how does “a market” emerge? Why did these contracts first develop in the Middle Ages and not before? How did they compute insurance premia without having the formal notion of probability?
 
“The key novelty of this project stems from combining contract theory with information from thousands of insurance contracts between 1300 and 1550”, Botticini says. “Genoese, Tuscan, Sicilian and Venetian merchants pioneered many features of international trade”.

Read here the other articles on the ERC research projects:
The Dream Team of Research made in..ERC
University at the Time of Star Wars
The Culture That Influences Demography
For a History of Inequality in Europe
Fostering Solidarity in Times of Migrations
A Theory of Games and Emotions
Why with Broadband We will have More Children
How to Communicate Climate Science
Even Distorted Choices can be Rational
The Psychology of Economic Behavior
Great Expectations for Great Objectives
What we are Certain about Uncertainty
Putting a Halt to the Spread of Infections
Wellbeing and Fertility, a Two-Way Relationship
The Role of Financial Imperfections
The World Through the Lens of Power
The Selection of the Political Class
How to Evaluate Innovative Ideas
A Help for Those who make Predictions
When a Government is Guided by Values
 

 

by Claudio Todesco

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