A Review Essay on the European Guilds
Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming
14 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2019 Last revised: 25 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 17, 2019
Ogilvie’s The European Guilds is a major contribution to economic history and institutional economics. This review essay surveys the main contributions of Guilds, locating it in a long-standing debate over whether craft guilds contributed positively or negatively to economic development in medieval and early modern Europe. The wealth of evidence Ogilvie amasses suggests that craft guilds should be thought of as organizations that primarily benefited their members at the expense of non-members, and used regulations to extract rents and exclude outsiders.
Keywords: Guilds, Institutions, Rent-Seeking
JEL Classification: N0, N43, D72, Y3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation