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Medieval matching markets

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  • Boerner, Lars
  • Quint, Daniel

Abstract

We study the implementation of brokerage regulations as allocation mechanisms in wholesale markets in pre-modern Central Western Europe. We assemble a data set of 1609 sets of brokerage rules from 70 cities. We analyze the incentives created by the rules that were implemented, compare cities that implemented brokerage to cities that did not, and analyze the choice of how brokers should be compensated and the effect this has on market outcomes. Empirically, we find that larger cities, cities with trade-geographic advantages, cities with merchant interests, and cities with universities were more likely to implement brokerage. We also find that brokers were more likely to be compensated with price-based fees in markets with greater heterogeneity in products and preferences, and with unit fees in markets for more homogeneous products – exactly as our theoretical analysis suggests is optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Boerner, Lars & Quint, Daniel, 2016. "Medieval matching markets," Economic History Working Papers 66833, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:66833
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/66833/
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    Cited by:

    1. Davide Cantoni & Noam Yuchtman, 2014. "Medieval Universities, Legal Institutions, and the Commercial Revolution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 823-887.
    2. Greif, Avner & Tabellini, Guido, 2017. "The clan and the corporation: Sustaining cooperation in China and Europe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 1-35.
    3. Avner Greif & Guido Tabellini, 2012. "The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe," Working Papers 445, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    4. van Bochove, Christiaan & Boerner, Lars & Quint, Daniel, 2012. "Anglo-Dutch premium auctions in eighteenth-century Amsterdam," Discussion Papers 2012/3, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    preindustrial markets; market microstructure; efficient matching;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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