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Clans, Guilds, and Markets: Apprenticeship Institutions and Growth in the Pre-Industrial Economy

Author

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  • David de la Croix

    () (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Matthias Doepke

    () (Department of Economics, Northwestern University)

  • Joel Mokyr

    () (Department of Economics, Northwestern University)

Abstract

In the centuries leading up to the Industrial Revolution, Western Europe gradually pulled ahead of other world regions in terms of technological creativity, population growth, and income per capita. We argue that superior institutions for the creation and dissemination of productive knowledge help explain the European advantage. We build a model of technological progress in a pre-industrial economy that emphasizes the person-to-person transmission of tacit knowledge. The young learn as apprentices from the old. Institutions such as the family, the clan, the guild, and the market organize who learns from whom. We argue that medieval European institutions such as guilds, and specific features such as journeymanship, can explain the rise of Europe relative to regions that relied on the transmission of knowledge within extended families or clans.

Suggested Citation

  • David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke & Joel Mokyr, 2016. "Clans, Guilds, and Markets: Apprenticeship Institutions and Growth in the Pre-Industrial Economy," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2016009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. David De La Croix & Fabio Mariani, 2015. "From Polygyny to Serial Monogamy: A Unified Theory of Marriage Institutions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 565-607.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. David de la Croix & Eric B. Schneider & Jacob Weisdorf, 2017. ""Decessit sine prole" Childlessness, Celibacy, and Survival of the Richest in Pre-Industrial England," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2017001, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    3. Desmet, Klaus & Greif, Avner & Parente, Stephen L., 2017. "Spatial Competition, Innovation and Institutions: The Industrial Revolution and the Great Divergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. David de la Croix & Faustine Perrin, 2016. "French Fertility and Education Transition: Rational Choice vs. Cultural Diffusion," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Comino, Stefano & Galasso, Alberto & Graziano, Clara, 2017. "The Diffusion of New Institutions: Evidence from Renaissance Venice's Patent System," CEPR Discussion Papers 12102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Thomas Baudin & Robert Stelter, 2016. "Rural exodus and fertility at the time of industrialization," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. repec:eee:exehis:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:105-133 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Claude Diebolt & Charlotte Le Chapelain & Audrey-Rose Menard, 2017. "Industrialization as a Deskilling Process? Steam Engines and Human Capital in XIXth Century France," Working Papers of BETA 2017-17, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    9. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:413-430 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Zan, Luca & Deng, Kent, 2017. "Micro foundations in the Great Divergence debate: opening up a new perspective," Economic History Working Papers 68944, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    11. David de la Croix, 2015. "Did Longer Lives Buy Economic Growth? From Malthus to Lucas and Ben-Porath," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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