IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/1471.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The institutions of Roman markets

Author

Abstract

I analyze the basis of the market economy in classical Rome, from the perspective of personal-versus-impersonal exchange and focusing on the role of the state in providing market-enabling institutions. I start by reviewing the central conflict in all exchanges between those holding and those acquiring property rights, and how solving it requires reducing information asymmetry without endangering the security of property. Relying on a model of the social choice of institutions, I identify the demand and supply factors driving the institutional choices made by the Romans, and examine the economic circumstances that influenced these factors in the classical period of Roman law. Comparing the predictions of the model with the main solutions used by Roman law in the areas of property, business exchange and the enforcement of personal obligations allows me to propose alternative interpretations for some salient institutions that have been subject to controversy in the literature, and to conclude with an overall positive assessment of the market-enabling role of the Roman state.

Suggested Citation

  • Benito Arruñada, 2015. "The institutions of Roman markets," Economics Working Papers 1471, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1471
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/1471.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ulrike Malmendier, 2009. "Law and Finance "at the Origin"," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1076-1108, December.
    2. Benito Arruñada, 2010. "Institutional Support of the Firm: A Theory of Business Registries," Working Papers 508, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Peter Temin, 2006. "The Economy of the Early Roman Empire," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 133-151, Winter.
    4. Benito ArruÒada, 2003. "Property Enforcement as Organized Consent," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 401-444, October.
    5. Arrunada, Benito & Garicano, Luis & Vazquez, Luis, 2001. "Contractual Allocation of Decision Rights and Incentives: The Case of Automobile Distribution," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 257-284, April.
    6. Laiou,Angeliki E. & Morrisson,Cécile, 2007. "The Byzantine Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521615020, April.
    7. Laiou,Angeliki E. & Morrisson,Cécile, 2007. "The Byzantine Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521849784, April.
    8. Koyama, Mark, 2010. "Evading the 'Taint of Usury': The usury prohibition as a barrier to entry," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 420-442, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    property rights; enforcement; transaction costs; registries; Roman law; impersonal exchange; personal exchange; New Institutional Economics; Law and Economics.;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1471. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.