Beware what you buy: the goods German citizens were forbidden to consume

For centuries many German citizens were forbidden to consume a variety of desirable goods, including 'very wide trousers'. Sheilagh Ogilvie, Markus Küpker and Janine Maegraith explain how such regulations may have had serious economic consequences

An 18th century village in Germany. Strict laws regulated the goods that each social class could buy. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

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