Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 374–406 | Cite as

The political economy of expulsion: the regulation of Jewish moneylending in medieval England

Original Paper

Abstract

This paper develops an analytic narrative examining an institution known as ‘The Exchequer of the Jewry’. The prohibition on usury resulted in most moneylending activities being concentrated within the Jewish community. The king set up the Exchequer of the Jewry in order to extract these monopoly profits. This institution lasted for almost 100 years but collapsed during the second part of the thirteenth century. This collapse resulted in the expulsion of the Anglo-Jewish population. This paper provides a rational choice account of the institutional trajectory of the Exchequer of the Jewry. This account explains why it ultimately failed to provide a suitable framework for the development of capital markets in medieval England.

Keywords

Taxation Usury Rent creation Parliament 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Knick Harley, Bob Allen and Jean-Philippe Platteau for commenting on earlier versions of this paper. I am also grateful to the audience of the Graduate Workshop in Social and Economic History at Oxford.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political Theory ProjectBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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