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NeoFreak

The Economy of Martin World

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Perchance we will see more of the Meereenese economy revival, if the whole city doesn't blow up in Dany's face first.

As for the crown's debt, I'm thinking Littlefinger has slipped in the IOUs in small print that it has to be paid back in halfpennies only and all at once.

For the boarders with too much time on their hands, try calculating how long it would take to mint and cart away to the respective creditors 141,112 billion halfpennies. :)

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the crown debt intrest me

how could have the lannisters or the tyrells made robert pay? if he didn;t want to he could just wipe the debt off am I correct

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He could attempt to do that, but the repercussions would be massive, as the Lannisters and Tyrells wouldn't sit still for it. Even the Faith had to be negotiated with to get it to agree to wipe the Crown's debts.

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For comparison's sake, can we compile a list of the currency amounts referenced in the books?

I know the crown's debt in AGoT was supposed to be 6 million dragons.

The prizes for the events in the Hand's Tourney were 40,000, 20,000 and 20,000 I believe.

Littlefinger and Renly's bet on the Gregor-Loras tilt was 100 dragons, which seems awfully small by comparison.

What else?

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As commented upthread, the economies of Essos and Westeros would be mostly based on agriculture, notwithstanding the importance of mining and international trade.

The wealth of the Dothraki comes from herding, plunder, extortion, and the slave trade. The economies of Mereen, Astapor, and Yunkai seem largely based on the slave trade, but the Ghiscari hinterland is likely agricultural.

The absolute maximum GDP per head that any pre-industrial economy could reach was about $2,000 USD (compared to the UK's $34,000 per head today). I'd have thought that places like Braavos and Qarth would be close to that, Westeros well below it, particularly given the devastation caused by war.

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As commented upthread, the economies of Essos and Westeros would be mostly based on agriculture, notwithstanding the importance of mining and international trade.

The wealth of the Dothraki comes from herding, plunder, extortion, and the slave trade. The economies of Mereen, Astapor, and Yunkai seem largely based on the slave trade, but the Ghiscari hinterland is likely agricultural.

The absolute maximum GDP per head that any pre-industrial economy could reach was about $2,000 USD (compared to the UK's $34,000 per head today). I'd have thought that places like Braavos and Qarth would be close to that, Westeros well below it, particularly given the devastation caused by war.

GDP/Capita would be a really bad way of measuring wealth in this context, as we're talking about a systm with an embedded class structure that has defined limits on ownership. It's impossible to aggregate national wealth across such a system, as a peasant in a share-cropping, bonded system would not be able to amass any wealth at all.

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I'll note that Qarth's claims regarding its importance and greatness are implicitly suggested to be exaggerations. That said, Qarth does hold a very important position, thanks to its ability to exert some measure of control over the straits that separate the Summer Sea from the Jade Sea. Pretty much all east-west maritime trade passes through Qarth.

Thank God! You know the whole thing that pushed Western exploration was a desire to find an alternative (sea rather than land) route to India and China. One of my thoeries regarding the slow development in Westeros is that since there is a sea route, there is a less pressing need to develop a high standard of maritime technology to bypass an unfriendly land power (in the real world this was the Arabs and Turks). But if Quarth does control the Straits that lead to the Jade Sea (although Quarth is still has a monopoly on saffron production) then if Quarth were unfriendly and Slavers Bay extremely chaotic, there would be an incentive to find an alternative sea route to the Jade Sea (Yi tai and Jhogos Nhai).

Yay there is hope

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The Summer Islanders seem to have developed their sailing technology quite a bit- they use triangular sails to move against the winds, have no need of rowers, and are considered the most skilled navigators in the world. Despite separation by sea, they have a unified national government. Its very possible that the Summer Islands have attained a significant step up in civilization compared to the rest of the world, but only their mercantile prowess has yet been observed.

If they were able to sail the deeper ocean, they could easily bypass Qarth and the Free Cities on their way to the East, giving them a great economic advantage.

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The Summer Islanders seem to have developed their sailing technology quite a bit- they use triangular sails to move against the winds, have no need of rowers, and are considered the most skilled navigators in the world. Despite separation by sea, they have a unified national government. Its very possible that the Summer Islands have attained a significant step up in civilization compared to the rest of the world, but only their mercantile prowess has yet been observed.

If they were able to sail the deeper ocean, they could easily bypass Qarth and the Free Cities on their way to the East, giving them a great economic advantage.

I thought the Straits of Quarth were a bottleneck where Essos and Sothoyros almost touched, and the only way to bypass them would be going around the whole Essos or the whole Sothoyros...

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actually fishing whaling seal hunting,etc. and trading is the only consistent source of income the long seasons would make agriculture and livestock unsafe bets ecspecially going into winter.

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I thought the Straits of Quarth were a bottleneck where Essos and Sothoyros almost touched, and the only way to bypass them would be going around the whole Essos or the whole Sothoyros...

So if the straigts of Quarth were blocked....

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actually fishing whaling seal hunting,etc. and trading is the only consistent source of income the long seasons would make agriculture and livestock unsafe bets ecspecially going into winter.

I'm really confused as to how human life could've survived during the longer winters in Westeros. I'm sure that down in the Reach and Dorne it wouldn't have been as bad, but up North, the winters sound bad enough to prevent any kind of agriculture and barely even hunting or fishing. The lords of Westeros and the Night's Watch try to stockpile as much grain and preserve as much food as possible during the autumn months (excepting a hugely destructive civil war), in order to survive winters of unknown length, but even in RL medieval Europe, a single bad year could doom a good portion of the population.

Apply this to years and years of winter where there's simply NO way to bring in food, and I'm surprised that the smallfolk and even the gentry didn't just run through their granaries in the first year. Of course, it could just be that a wizard did it.

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Sparse populations can survive extreme weather conditions. People survived living in places like Mongolia, Scandinavia, and Siberia in medieval times. The North has half the land mass of Westeros, but only 10% of the population.

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We've got that info already, thanks to the RPG. :) I provide a breakdown here.

Oh, that's interesting. Do you have any information on the prices of various items in Westeros, or wages?

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I'm really confused as to how human life could've survived during the longer winters in Westeros. I'm sure that down in the Reach and Dorne it wouldn't have been as bad, but up North, the winters sound bad enough to prevent any kind of agriculture and barely even hunting or fishing. The lords of Westeros and the Night's Watch try to stockpile as much grain and preserve as much food as possible during the autumn months (excepting a hugely destructive civil war), in order to survive winters of unknown length, but even in RL medieval Europe, a single bad year could doom a good portion of the population.

Apply this to years and years of winter where there's simply NO way to bring in food, and I'm surprised that the smallfolk and even the gentry didn't just run through their granaries in the first year. Of course, it could just be that a wizard did it.

Well their winters are long, but so are their summers. A medieval peasant in Europe could only bring in one harvest, more or less, before winter was upon him again, but in Westeros they have years and years of summer so 3 harvests per year might be possible. That allows for a huge surplus, *if* the population does not grow too much.

Subtropical regions like southern China have always had 2-3 rice harvests per year, ever since they started agriculture 1000s of years ago. They grow it all year round. So the sort of agriculture that Westeros practices in summer is sustainable, more or less. However in China they don't need to store food for year long winters, so what happened there is the population simply grows much higher (per square mile) than in Europe, eating up all the surplus.

Westeros has seasons though, so they have Chinese level of agricultural productivity in summer, and Greenland level of productivity in winter. Their population never grows as high as that of China, unless (and this is important!) it's a long summer, and people (unwisely) don't limit their family size. They would end up eating more food than "planned" and if winter is equally long, they'll run out of food quickly.

It's a cruel Malthusian world...

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I have read 2 cool academic journal articles recently:

Recent Trends in the Economic Historiography of the Renaissance

by Wallace K. Ferguson

Studies in the Renaissance, Vol. 7 (1960) pp 7-26

and

The Rise of New Economic Attitudes-Economic Humanism, Economic Nationalism-During the Later Middle Ages and the Renaissance A.D 1200-1550

By John F. McGovern

Traditio, Vol 26 (1970) pp. 217-253

The latter was really good.

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just for the heck of it I calulated what the hands torney prizes would be worth if a dragon was equal to a English noble note I used the year 1399 as the basic year

an Nobles is 6s/8d therefore 40,000 is 240000s/320000d since one pound equals 20s=240d 13333p/6s/8d in 2006 it would be £5,215,920.40 or given today exchange rate of 1.958 gives us $10,216,157.48 a good amount of money but not beyond all reason using the same data the crown debts are $2,298,635,432.9027 US dollars wich seems a little small

Giggle, giggle, giggle = 6 Hah Hah Hah Hahs + 2snork snorks

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On another thread it was suggested that a Dragon was worth c.$3,500 in modern terms, which would make the prize at the Hand's Tourney worth $ 135 m! I think that must be too high. To be honest, I think a prize of 40,000 dragons is really too high to be plausible, whatever value you place on a Dragon.

IIRC there are 250 stags to a Dragon, and Ser Duncan reckons you could live well for a year on 750 stags, or 3 Dragons. I tend to see a Dragon as being the rough equivalent of a pound sterling, in the second half of the fourteenth century, and a stag as being worth about a silver penny (although a pound sterling was only a unit of accounting, not a coin, at that period).

If my estimation is correct, that would put that the Crown debt at the equivalent of £6m or about £2.5bn - £3.6 bn at today's prices (on the assumption that prices have risen by 4-600 times since 1400).

In our money, LF and Renly were wagering £40,000-£60,000 on the tournament, which sounds plausible.

If you link figures to the rise in wages (over and above prices) over the same period, then the Crown's debt comes to about £40-58bn.

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On another thread it was suggested that a Dragon was worth c.$3,500 in modern terms, which would make the prize at the Hand's Tourney worth $ 135 m! I think that must be too high. To be honest, I think a prize of 40,000 dragons is really too high to be plausible, whatever value you place on a Dragon.

IIRC there are 250 stags to a Dragon, and Ser Duncan reckons you could live well for a year on 750 stags, or 3 Dragons. I tend to see a Dragon as being the rough equivalent of a pound sterling, in the second half of the fourteenth century, and a stag as being worth about a silver penny (although a pound sterling was only a unit of accounting, not a coin, at that period).

If my estimation is correct, that would put that the Crown debt at the equivalent of £6m or about £2.5bn - £3.6 bn at today's prices (on the assumption that prices have risen by 4-600 times since 1400).

In our money, LF and Renly were wagering £40,000-£60,000 on the tournament, which sounds plausible.

If you link figures to the rise in wages (over and above prices) over the same period, then the Crown's debt comes to about £40-58bn.

amazing!

Do you think the North will ever be a trade centre, or will it always remain poor?

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