The economic history of sovereignty: communal responsibility, the extended family, and the firm
AbstractEconomic institutions encompassing increasingly sophisticated concepts of risk-sharing and liability flourished in Europe since 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 et al. (2006) arose endogenously and is not primarily the result of regulation by local authorities.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 22307.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Lars Boerner & Albrecht Ritschl, 2009. "The Economic History of Sovereignty: Communal Responsibility, the Extended Family, and the Firm," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 99-112, March.
- N0 - Economic History - - General
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- B11 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Preclassical (Ancient, Medieval, Mercantilist, Physiocratic)
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.:
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- Volckart, Oliver, 2004. "The economics of feuding in late medieval Germany," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 282-299, July.
- Shavell, S., 1986. "The judgment proof problem," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-58, June.
- Börner, Lars & Quint, Daniel, 2010. "Medieval matching markets," Discussion Papers 2010/31, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
- Börner, Lars & Hatfield, John William, 2010. "The economics of debt clearing mechanisms," Discussion Papers 2010/27, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lucy Ayre on behalf of EH Dept.).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.