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Communal Responsibility and the Coexistence of Money and Credit under Anonymous Matching

Author

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  • Lars Boerner

    () (Free University of Berlin)

  • Albrecht Ritschl

    () (London School of Economics and CEPR)

Abstract

Communal responsibility, a medieval institution studied by Greif (2006), supported the use of credit among European merchants in the absence of modern enforcement technologies. This paper shows how this mechanism helps to overcome enforcement problems in anonymous buyer/seller transactions. In a village economy version of the Lagos and Wright (2005) model, agents trading anonymously in decentralized markets can be identified by their citizenship and thus be held liable for each other. Enforceability within each village's centralized afternoon market ensures collateralization of credit in decentralized markets. In the resulting equilibrium, money and credit coexist in decentralized markets if the use of credit is costly. Our analysis easily extends itself to other payment systems like credit cards that provide a group identity to otherwise anonymous agents.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Corbae, Dean, 1996. "Money and finance with costly commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 225-248, April.
    2. Lacker, Jeffrey M. & Schreft, Stacey L., 1996. "Money and credit as means of payment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 3-23, August.
    3. Faig Miquel & Jerez Belén, 2006. "Inflation, Prices, and Information in Competitive Search," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-34, September.
    4. Berentsen, Aleksander & Camera, Gabriele & Waller, Christopher, 2007. "Money, credit and banking," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 171-195, July.
    5. Ping He & Lixin Huang & Randall Wright, 2005. "Money And Banking In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(2), pages 637-670, May.
    6. Börner, Lars & Hatfield, John William, 2010. "The economics of debt clearing mechanisms," Discussion Papers 2010/27, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    7. Freeman, Scott & Huffman, Gregory W, 1991. "Inside Money, Output, and Causality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 645-667, August.
    8. Ricardo de O. Cavalcanti & Neil Wallace, 1999. "Inside and outside money as alternative media of exchange," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 443-468.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lars Boerner & Albrecht Ritschl, 2009. "The Economic History of Sovereignty: Communal Responsibility, the Extended Family, and the Firm," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(1), pages 99-112, March.
    2. Maciejczak, Mariusz, 2015. "Will the institution of coexistence be re-defined by TTIP?," GMCC-15: Seventh GMCC, November 17-20, 2015, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 211478, International Conference on Coexistence between Genetically Modified (GM) and non-GM based Agricultural Supply Chains (GMCC).
    3. Basteck, Christian & Daniëls, Tijmen R., 2011. "Every symmetric 3×3 global game of strategic complementarities has noise-independent selection," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 749-754.
    4. Börner, Lars & Hatfield, John William, 2010. "The economics of debt clearing mechanisms," Discussion Papers 2010/27, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Communal responsibility; anonymous matching; money demand; credit; bills of exchange;

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions

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