Principle-agent problems in the French slave trade: the case of Rochelais Armateurs and their agents, 1763-1792
La Rochelle, the fourth largest slaving port in France in the eighteenth-century, is used as a case study in the application of agency theory to long-distance trade. This analysis explores an area not accounted for in the literature on French commercial practices. Being broadly couched in a New Institutionalist framework, this study explores the formal and informal institutions designed to curb agency problems, and emphasizes the ex-post strategies such as social rewarding, to which little attention is usually paid. It also finds reputation-effect strategies were efficiently combined with a well-operating legal system. It subsequently challenges the traditional dichotomy between societies where personal links dominated the economy and modern societies where business links are predominantly impersonal. As a result, this empirical analysis leads to a reappraisal of private ordering as opposed to legal centralism and calls for more theoretical research.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Carlos, Ann M, 1992. "Principal-Agent Problems in Early Trading Companies: A Tale of Two Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 140-45, May.
- Greif, Avner, 1998. "Historical and Comparative Institutional Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 80-84, May.
- Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
- Allen, Douglas W., 2002. "The British Navy Rules: Monitoring and Incompatible Incentives in the Age of Fighting Sail," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 204-231, April.
- Carlos Ann M., 1994. "Bonding and the Agency Problem: Evidence from the Royal African Company, 1672-1691," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 313-335, July.
- Eaton, B Curtis & White, William D, 1982. "Agent Compensation and the Limits of Bonding," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(3), pages 330-43, July.
- Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
- MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1988.
"Reputation and Hierarchy in Dynamic Models of Employment,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 832-54, August.
- Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1985. "Reputation and Hierarchy in Dynamic Models of Employment," Working Papers 628, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Wintrobe, Ronald & Breton, Albert, 1986. "Organizational Structure and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 530-38, June.
- Eltis David & Richardson David, 1995. "Productivity in the Transatlantic Slave Trade," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 465-484, October.
- Carlos, Ann M. & Nicholas, Stephen, 1990. "Agency Problems in Early Chartered Companies: The Case of the Hudson’s Bay Company," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 50(04), pages 853-875, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:22478. 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: (LSERO Manager on behalf of EH Dept.)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.