Trade without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California
Trade prospered in absence of law in California during the 1830s and 1840s. Merchants, through intermerchant trade and the partnerships they organized to buy goods abroad, played a central role in trade. This article examines the private-order institution that facilitated intermerchant trade. The hypothesis is that a particular type of private-order institution, a coalition, a reputation mechanism mitigated the commitment problem inherent in having individuals handle goods that they did not own by linking a merchant's past behavior and his future payoff. Evidence from the merchants' business correspondence supports the hypothesis. A game-theoretic model of a coalition is presented. The model provides insight into the punishment merchants imposed on cheaters, the expansion of the coalition in the 1830s, and its collapse around the time of the gold rush in 1848-1849. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Volume (Year): 13 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/Email:
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:13:y:1997:i:1:p:202-31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.