The Economic History of Sovereignty: Communal Responsibility, the Extended Family, and the Firm
AbstractEconomic institutions encompassing increasingly sophisticated concepts of risksharing and liability flourished in Europe beginning in the High Middle Ages. These innovations occurred in an environment of fragmented local jurisdictions, not within the framework of the territorial state. In this short paper we attempt to sketch a unifying approach towards the interpretation of the emergence of these institutions. We argue that communal responsibility in medieval city-states created incentives for excessive risk-taking by individual merchants, and that the emergence of firms mitigated this problem. We also find that entity shielding in the sense of HANSMANN, KRAAKMAN, AND SQUIRE  arose endogenously and is not primarily the result of regulation by local authorities.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.
Volume (Year): 165 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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Other versions of this item:
- Lars Boerner & Albrecht Ritschl, 2008. "The economic history of sovereignty: communal responsibility, the extended family, and the firm," Economic History Working Papers 22307, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
- N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Volckart, Oliver, 2004. "The economics of feuding in late medieval Germany," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 282-299, July.
- Boerner, Lars & Ritschl, Albrecht, 2011.
"Communal Responsibility and the Coexistence of Money and Credit Under Anonymous Matching,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
8184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lars Boerner & Albrecht Ritschl, 2010. "Communal Responsibility and the Coexistence of Money and Credit Under Anonymous Matching," CEP Discussion Papers dp1034, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Lars Boerner & Albrecht Ritschl, 2011. "Communal Responsibility and the Coexistence of Money and Credit under Anonymous Matching," Working Papers 0006, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
- Lars Boerner & Albrecht Ritschl, 2010. "Communal Responsibility and the Coexistence of Money and Credit Under Anonymous Matching," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2010-060, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
- Shavell, S., 1986. "The judgment proof problem," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-58, June.
- Börner, Lars & Hatfield, John William, 2010. "The economics of debt clearing mechanisms," Discussion Papers 2010/27, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
- Börner, Lars & Quint, Daniel, 2010. "Medieval matching markets," Discussion Papers 2010/31, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
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