Gold is Worse Than Death

Summary of a new Economic History Review paper on gold and mortality in 14th century England shows that gold is worth than death. I kid. Mostly.

Gold, credit, and mortality: distinguishing deflationary pressures on the late medieval English economy

This article uses national and local records of debt and evidence from coins, prices, and wages to discuss the economic effects of the gold coinage that was introduced into England in 1344. It distinguishes between the deflationary effects of gold and those of the falling population on prices and credit, and shows that a coinage dominated by gold reduced the volume of credit and transactions far more than the mortality rate and the total circulation of coin would indicate was likely. It relates these findings to the economic and social changes of the fifteenth century. [Emphasis mine]