Credible commitment and cartel: the case of the Hansa merchant in the guild of late medieval Tallinn
DOI: 10.1080/1406099X.2010.10840470
Title: Credible commitment and cartel: the case of the Hansa merchant in the guild of late medieval Tallinn
Journal Title: Baltic Journal of Economics
Volume: Volume 10
Issue: Issue 1
Publication Date: March 2010
Start Page: 43
End Page: 60
Published online: 3 Jun 2014
ISSN: 1406-099X
Author: Kaire P?dera
Affiliations:
a Tallinn University of Technology,
Abstract: This paper contributes to the ongoing debate of institutional research in economics and the methodological debate over the plausibility of using analytic narratives, in social sciences in particular. Using a single historical case we argue that in Tallinn by and large the merchant guild solved a commitment problem in the Hanseatic League and the organisation-institution of the guild was meant for efficient enforcement of inter-city trade. We show that this argument holds in the late medieval period by using an extensive form of punishment and sanctions game. We also argue that after the breakup of the Hanseatic League, guilds turned into protectionist and rent-seeking cartels.

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