The myth of Tulipmania

by Chris Bertram on May 12, 2007

Simon Kuper, in today’s FT, “reviews Anne Goldgar’s _Tulipmania_, “: a new study of the 17th century boom and bust in the Dutch tulip market. Disappointingly, it turns out that most of the stories are false. There was a boom, but it was a fairly marginal phenomenon in the Dutch economy, and people weren’t ruined: the deals were done when the plants were in the ground, but payment was due only when the bulbs were dug up. Most people simply refused to pay, or paid only a small fraction of what they owed.