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Manors and MarketsEconomy and Society in the Low Countries 500-1600$
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Bas van Bavel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278664

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278664.001.0001

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The Rise and the Institutional Framework of Markets in the High and Late Middle Ages

The Rise and the Institutional Framework of Markets in the High and Late Middle Ages

(p.162) V The Rise and the Institutional Framework of Markets in the High and Late Middle Ages
Manors and Markets

Bas van Bavel

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the rise of market exchange in land, labour, capital, and goods in the 10th to 16th centuries. It focuses on the institutional framework in which exchange was organized, in order to better understand the slow pace and regional unevenness of this process. It shows that a balance between social actors was crucial in the emergence of a favourable institutional framework. The strong position held by towns, merchants, craftsmen, and even peasants, and their associations, in some regions formed a main element in this balance. Public authorities, if held in check by such counter‐balances, could also contribute to the security of exchange and accessibility of markets. The effects are charted by way of various indicators. The chapter shows how first in Flanders, and later especially in Holland, the markets offered relatively high mobility of production factors, integrated labour markets, cheap credit, and low transaction costs.

Keywords:   markets, land market, leasing, capital market, coins, labour market, wage, commodity market, trade, flanders, Holland

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