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On Custom in Economics: The Case of Humanism and Trade Regimes

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  • Barbara Krug
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    Abstract

    Ideas and beliefs can make a contribution to economic development. The case of Humanism and the Low Countries' sudden rise to prosperity prove the point. Humanism became of substantial economic value when it turned out that its norms and customs allowed the Dutch long-distance trader to find more, and more willing, trade partners in the East Indies. Both individual behaviour and the overall set of customs fitted better the existing trade regimes between the African East Coast and Japan. Non-discrimination on religious or racial grounds, voluntary excange, norms of hospitality and reciprocity sustained low transaction costs in long distance trade in and between the trade regimes. Yet, Humanism serves also as an example for showing that even after a specific set of norms has proved its usefulness, and even if scale economics can be expected, it can still collapse depending on sanctioning funds that are either missing or too weak.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

    Volume (Year): 155 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 405-

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    Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(199909)155:3_405:ocietc_2.0.tx_2-v

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    Web page: http://www.mohr.de/jite

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    Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
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    Cited by:
    1. Carolina Esguerra Roa, 2001. "Las instituciones Colombianas en el siglo XX de Salomón Kalmanovitz," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 3(5), pages 249-257, July-Dece.
    2. Krug, B. & Belschak, F.D., 2001. "Combining Commerce and Culture," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2001-84-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    3. Enrico Colombatto, 2000. "On the concept of transition," ICER Working Papers 15-2000, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    4. Krug, B. & Hendrischke, H., 2006. "Institution Building and Change in China," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-008-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.

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