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The Institutional Dynamics of Early Modern Eurasian Trade: The Commenda and the Corporation

Ron Harris

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

November 3, 2008

The focus of this article is on legal-economic institutions that organized early-modern Eurasian trade. It identifies two such institutions that had divergent dispersion patterns, the corporation and the commenda. The corporation ended up as a uniquely European institution that did not migrate until the era of European colonization. The commenda that originated in Arabia migrated all the way to Western Europe and to China. The article explains their divergent dispersion based on differences in their institutional and geographical environments and on dynamic factors. It claims that institutional analysis errs when it ignores migration of institutions. It provides building blocks for the modeling of institutional migration.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: comparative institutional analysis, institutional transplants, China, India, Middle East, Europe, business organization

JEL Classification: F1, G3, K2, N2, N4, O1, P5

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Date posted: January 2, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Harris, Ron, The Institutional Dynamics of Early Modern Eurasian Trade: The Commenda and the Corporation (November 3, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1294095 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1294095

Contact Information

Ron Harris (Contact Author)
Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )
Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
972 3 6408798 (Phone)
972 3 6407260 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www2.tau.ac.il/Person/law/researcher.asp?id=agihecicf
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