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Full-Text Articles in Economic History

Religion, Longevity, And Cooperation: The Case Of The Craft Guild, Gary Richardson Jul 2009

Religion, Longevity, And Cooperation: The Case Of The Craft Guild, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

Whenthe mortality rate is high, repeated interaction alonemaynot sustain cooperation, and religion may play an important role in shaping economic institutions. This insight explains why during the fourteenth century, when plagues decimated populations and the church promoted the doctrine of purgatory, guilds that bundled together religious and occupational activities dominated manufacturing and commerce. During the sixteenth century, the disease environment eased, and the Reformation dispelled the doctrine of purgatory, necessitating the development of new methods of organizing industry. The logic underlying this conclusion has implications for the study of institutions, economics, and religion throughout history and in the developing world ...


The Prudent Village: Risk Pooling Institutions In Medieval English Agriculture, Gary Richardson May 2005

The Prudent Village: Risk Pooling Institutions In Medieval English Agriculture, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

The prudent peasant mitigated the risk of crop failures by scattering his arable land throughout his village, Deirdre McCloskey argued, because alternative risksharing institutions did not exist. But, alternatives did exist, this essay concludes. Medieval English peasants formed two types of farmers’ cooperatives. Fraternities protected members from the perils of everyday life. Customary poor laws redistributed resources towards villagers beset by bad luck. In both institutions, the expectation of reciprocation motivated farmers with surpluses to aid neighbors with shortages.


Christianity And Craft Guilds In Late Medieval England: A Rational Choice Analysis, Gary Richardson Apr 2005

Christianity And Craft Guilds In Late Medieval England: A Rational Choice Analysis, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

In late-medieval England, craft guilds simultaneously pursued piety and profit. Why did guilds pursue those seemingly unrelated goals? What were the consequences of that combination? Theories of organizational behavior answer those questions. Craft guilds combined spiritual and occupational endeavors because the former facilitated the success of the latter and vice versa. The reciprocal nature of this relationship linked the ability of guilds to attain spiritual and occupational goals. This link between religion and economics at the local level connected religious and economic trends in the wider world.


Guilds, Laws, And Markets For Manufactured Merchandise In Late-Medieval England, Gary Richardson Dec 2003

Guilds, Laws, And Markets For Manufactured Merchandise In Late-Medieval England, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

The prevailing paradigm of medieval manufacturing presumes guilds monopolized markets for durable goods in late-medieval England. The sources of the monopolies are said to have been the charters of towns, charters of guilds, parliamentary statutes, and judicial precedents. This essay examines those sources, demonstrates they did not give guilds legal monopolies in the modern sense of the word, and replaces that erroneous assumption with an accurate description of the legal institutions underlying markets for manufactures in medieval England.


A Tale Of Two Theories: Monopolies And Craft Guilds In Medieval England And Modern Imagination, Gary Richardson May 2001

A Tale Of Two Theories: Monopolies And Craft Guilds In Medieval England And Modern Imagination, Gary Richardson

Gary Richardson

No abstract provided.