Guanxi in Chinese Commerce: Informal Enforcement in Spanish Philippines

Seoul Journal of Economics 26 (No. 2, 2013): 203-237

36 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2013

See all articles by Tina Clemente

Tina Clemente

University of the Philippines, Diliman

Date Written: May 30, 2013

Abstract

How did Chinese merchants remedy opportunism in a prevailing scenario of weak state enforcement during the Spanish period in the Philippines? The paper attempts to analyze 19th century historical accounts in elucidating how the utilization of guanxi sanctions provides useful insights in addressing the gap between state enforcement and property rights violation. These sanctions constitute informal enforcement among Chinese merchants based on personalistic ties. With credible enforcement, Chinese principals could manage networks that facilitated merchandize trade throughout the Philippines. By the 19th century, Chinese networks consisting of Chinese merchants and agents became crucial in large scale wholesale and retail trade.

Keywords: Ethnically homogeneous middleman groups, Informal sanctions, Enforcement

JEL Classification: N85, D23, C61, L14, D86

Suggested Citation

Clemente, Tina, Guanxi in Chinese Commerce: Informal Enforcement in Spanish Philippines (May 30, 2013). Seoul Journal of Economics 26 (No. 2, 2013): 203-237. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2280185

Tina Clemente (Contact Author)

University of the Philippines, Diliman ( email )

Asian Center, Romulo Hall
Magsaysay corner Guerrero Sts.
U.P. Diliman, Quezon City, 1100
Philippines

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