The economic history of sovereignty: communal responsibility, the extended family, and the firm
Economic 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.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2008|
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- 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.
- 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.
- Shavell, S., 1986. "The judgment proof problem," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-58, June.
- Blomquist, Thomas W., 1971. "Commercial Association in Thirteenth-Century Lucca," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 157-178, June.
- Volckart, Oliver, 2004. "The economics of feuding in late medieval Germany," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 282-299, July.
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