Contract Enforcement, Institutions and Social Capital: the Maghribi Traders Reappraised
AbstractEconomists draw important lessons for modern development from the medieval Maghribi traders who, according to Greif, enforced contracts multilaterally through a closed, private-order ‘coalition’. We show that this view is untenable. The Maghribis used formal legal mechanisms and entered business associations with non-Maghribis. Not a single empirical example adduced by Greif shows that any ‘coalition’ actually existed. The Maghribis cannot be used to argue that the social capital of exclusive networks will facilitate exchange in developing economies. Nor do they provide any support for the cultural theories of economic development and institutional change for which they have been mobilised.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2254.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
contract enforcement; reputation; legal system; social network;
Other versions of this item:
- Jeremy Edwards & Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2012. "Contract enforcement, institutions, and social capital: the Maghribi traders reappraised," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(2), pages 421-444, 05.
- Edwards, J. & Ogilvie, S., 2009. "Contract Enforcement, Institutions and Social Capital: the Maghribi Traders Reappraised," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0928, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
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"Contract Enforcement and Institutions among the Maghribi Traders: Refuting Edwards and Ogilvie,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
2350, CESifo Group Munich.
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