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Club goods and inefficient institutions: Why Danzig and Lübeck failed in the early modern period
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2009 (English)In: Economic history review, ISSN 0013-0117, E-ISSN 1468-0289, Vol. 62, no 3, 604-628 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article uses club theory to explain why two major medieval commercial centres declined in the early modern period. Lübeck and Danzig illuminate the difficulties experienced by old-style European towns where early modern guilds (and other privileged 'corporations') had a lot of political influence in making the transition to the new style of north-west European cities such as Amsterdam and Hamburg. The article refutes theories proposing that the special privileges awarded to a merchant elite enhanced economic growth; instead, it is argued that those privileges gave rise to 'club goods' that were beneficial only to a small number of merchants and were provided at the expense of society at large, resulting in economic decline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 62, no 3, 604-628 p.
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-102645DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00469.xISI: 000267750600004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-102645DiVA: diva2:216552
Available from: 2009-05-10 Created: 2009-05-10 Last updated: 2012-02-15Bibliographically approved

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