The Institutional Dynamics of Early Modern Eurasian Trade: The Commenda and the Corporation
48 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2009
Date Written: 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.
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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