A Tale of Two Theories: Monopolies and Craft Guilds in Medieval England and Modern Imagination

@article{Richardson2001ATO,
  title={A Tale of Two Theories: Monopolies and Craft Guilds in Medieval England and Modern Imagination},
  author={Gary A. Richardson},
  journal={Journal of the History of Economic Thought},
  year={2001},
  volume={23},
  pages={217 - 242}
}
  • Gary A. Richardson
  • Published 1 June 2001
  • Economics, History
  • Journal of the History of Economic Thought
Popular texts typically assert that guilds of craftsmen “monopolized” markets in medieval England. Norman Cantor's Medieval Reader declares “craft guilds' … main purpose and activity was narrow regulation of industrial productivity in order to restrain competition” (Cantor 1994, p. 278). Douglass North's Structure and Change in Economic History asserts “… guilds organized to protect local artisans … [and their strength] in preserving local monopolies against encroachment from outside… 

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