Guilds, efficiency, and social capital: evidence from German proto-industry
AbstractThis paper analyzes an early modern German economy to test alternative theories about guilds. It finds little evidence to support recent hypotheses arguing that guilds corrected market failures relating to product quality, training, and innovation. But it finds that guilds were social networks that generated a social capital of shared norms, common information, mutual sanctions, and collective political action. Guildsâ social capital affected rival producers, suppliers, employees, consumers, the government, and the wider economy. Economic analyses of collective action, it is argued, can explain why guilds were so widespread while not necessarily being efficient.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Economic History Society in its journal The Economic History Review.
Volume (Year): 57 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0013-0117
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Other versions of this item:
- Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2002. "Guilds, Efficiency, and Social Capital: Evidence from German Proto-Industry," CESifo Working Paper Series 820, CESifo Group Munich.
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