Medieval Matching Markets

67 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2010 Last revised: 21 Dec 2010

See all articles by Lars Boerner

Lars Boerner

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economic History

Daniel Quint

Stanford University - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 10, 2010

Abstract

This paper studies the market microstructure of pre-industrial Europe. In particular we investigate the institution of the broker in markets and fairs, and develop a unique data set of approximately 1100 sets of brokerage rules in 42 merchant towns in Central and Western Europe from the late 13th to the end of the 17th century. We show that towns implemented brokerage as an efficient matchmaking institution in a two-sided market problem. Furthermore, towns differentiated seller-friendly from buyer-friendlier matching mechanisms. We show that the decision to implement matchmaking mechanisms, and whether these mechanisms would be buyer- or seller friendly, depends on the products in question and the stated policy goals of the town, as well as time and geographic variables.

Keywords: pre-industrial markets, market microstructure, efficient matching

JEL Classification: D4, N23

Suggested Citation

Boerner, Lars and Quint, Daniel, Medieval Matching Markets (December 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1727700 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1727700

Lars Boerner (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economic History ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/larsboerner/

Daniel Quint

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States

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