The Rise and Fall of the Merchant Guilds: Re-thinking the Comparative Study of Commercial Institutions in Premodern Europe

@article{Gelderblom2010TheRA,
  title={The Rise and Fall of the Merchant Guilds: Re-thinking the Comparative Study of Commercial Institutions in Premodern Europe},
  author={Oscar Gelderblom and Regina Grafe},
  journal={Journal of Interdisciplinary History},
  year={2010},
  volume={40},
  pages={477-511}
}
Although the importance of merchant guilds for the commercial development of Europe is beyond doubt, scholars do not agree about why they emerged, persisted, and ultimately declined between the eleventh and eighteenth centuries. Historical studies usually focus on individual cases and idiosyncratic circumstances that restrict comparisons, whereas economic approaches based on game or contract theory often impose narrow assumptions on their models that tend to neglect two key features of these… 
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