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Title:What lessons for economic development can we draw from the Champagne fairs? PDF Logo
Authors:Edwards, Jeremy
Ogilvie, Sheilagh
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper: Empirical and Theoretical Methods 3438
Abstract:The medieval Champagne fairs are widely used to draw lessons about the institutional basis for long-distance impersonal exchange. This paper re-examines the causes of the outstanding success of the Champagne fairs in mediating international trade, the timing and causes of the fairs' decline, and the institutions for securing property rights and enforcing contracts at the fairs. It finds that contract enforcement at the fairs did not take the form of private-order or corporative mechanisms, but was provided by public institutions. More generally, the success and decline of the Champagne fairs depended crucially on the policies adopted by the public authorities.
Subjects:legal system
medieval Europe
trade
private-order institutions
community
responsibility system
JEL:N43
N73
O17
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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