Mauricio Drelichman, an associate professor with the Vancouver School of Economics at The University of British Columbia, explores the nature of state institutions in early modern Europe.
His recent work on sovereign debt markets has shown how sovereign defaults could function as insurance devices, shielding both monarchs and bankers from the worst effects of large, unanticipated adverse situations. His archival research into the debt contracts of Philip II of Spain uncovered a variety of sophisticated and novel debt instruments, most notably contracts that were contingent on specific events. Drelichman currently leads a project on the long-term economic, political and social effects of the Spanish Inquisition.
His previous work focused on the nature of the urban economy in early modern Toledo; the structure of the Spanish nobility and its impact on local economies; the role that apparently inefficient institutions can play when legal systems are too rigid to adapt to a changing economic environment; and the interaction between resource windfalls and institutions.