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Shaping Medieval Markets: The Organisation of Commodity Markets in Holland, c. 1200 – c. 1450

Shaping Medieval Markets: The Organisation of Commodity Markets in Holland, c. 1200 – c. 1450

By Jessica Dijkman

(Brill, 2011)

Synopsis: The late Middle Ages witnessed the transformation of the county of Holland from a peripheral agrarian region to a highly commercialised and urbanised one. This book examines how the organisation of commodity markets contributed to this remarkable development. Comparing Holland to England and Flanders, the book shows that Holland’s specific history of reclamation and settlement had given rise to a favourable balance of powers between state, nobility, towns and rural communities that reduced opportunities for rent-seeking and favoured the rise of efficient markets. This allowed burghers, peasants and fishermen to take full advantage of new opportunities presented by changing economic and ecological circumstances in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

Contents

1. Introduction
1.1 Holland: a commercialising economy
1.2 An institutional approach
1.3 Research questions

PART I: THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK: TRADE VENUES
2. Fairs
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Fairs and transaction costs
2.3 Fairs in Holland: a chronological reconstruction
2.4 Economic function
2.5 Power and politics
2.6 Conclusions

3. Rural markets c. 1200–c. 1350: a late start?
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Urban intrusion or urban attraction
3.3 Lords and their involvement with rural markets
3.4 Conclusions

4. New institutions for rural trade (c. 1350–c. 1450)
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Seaside fish markets and the sea-fish trade
4.3 Rural weigh houses and the dairy trade
4.4 Conclusions

5. The Dordrecht staple
5.1 Introduction
5.2 The Dordrecht staple in an international perspective
5.3 Dordrecht and its neighbours
5.4 Conclusions

PART II: THE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK: RULES AND PRACTICES

6. Weighing and measuring
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Control over weights and measures
6.3 Standards and standardisation
6.4 Enforcement
6.5 Conclusions

7. Contract enforcement
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Merchant guilds
7.3 From divine judgement to schepenkenning
7.4 Sureties
7.5 Public registration of debts
7.6 Conclusions

PART III: MARKET PERFORMANCE: QUANTITATIVE TESTS

8. Market integration
8.1 Introduction
8.2 The impact of institutional and non-institutional factors
8.3 Methods and data
8.4 Price volatility
8.5 Price integration
8.6 Conclusions

9. Market orientation
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Holland
9.3 Flanders
9.4 England
9.5 Conclusions

10. Conclusions
10.1 Endogenous factors
10.2 Exogenous factors
10.3 Commodity markets and factor markets

Click here to read this book from OAPEN: Open Access

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