The Ottoman Economy and Its Institutions: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Ottoman Economy and Its Institutions

1st Edition

By Sevket Pamuk


304 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659815
pub: 2009-03-01
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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.


’The collection will be particularly welcome to historians of the Ottoman Empire - or at least those who are not themselves economic historians - as most of the articles originally appeared in journals outside their usual area of study and so will probably have escaped their notice.’ Journal of Islamic Studies

Table of Contents

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.

About the Author

Sevket Pamuk is Professor of Economics and Economic History in the Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History and Department of Economics, Bogaziçi (Bosphorus) University, Turkey.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General