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Research project

Colonial legacies, invisible institutions, and financial markets in Latin America (and beyond)

This project investigates the relationship between European colonial hegemony, financial institutions, and economic development in Latin American in the 17th to 19th centuries and discusses how to decolonise research into institutional structures in the global south. Contrary to what social science theory would expect, historians have shown that private and public investors in colonial Spanish America could draw on ready and cheap capital, while credit dried up after independence in in the 19th century. Combining an empirical and a theoretical research question we ask how a sui generis financial sector evolved and how we can develop methods that account for the co-existence of radically different but efficient contemporaneous credit systems in Europe and Latin America before 1800.


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