Merchant Associations in Pre-Industrial Europe
56 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2003
Date Written: July 2003
In pre-industrial Europe, many of the functions performed today by large corporations and governments were performed by merchant associations of various types - merchant guilds, regulated companies, merchant-controlled cities, and merchant colonies. Merchant association provided their members with protection and order, represented them in the rivalry for trade, and helped them overcome the problems of agency and financing. This paper examines the nature, function, and evolution of merchant associations.
JEL Classification: N13, D20, D23, K40, L14, L22
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