This article argues that, to do justice to the institutional context of international trade in the later medieval Low Countries, a legal-historical study is necessary. Instead of considering commercial exchange from the perspective of mono-causal explanatory frameworks that assume the primacy of either the state or the city, all institutions that had an impact on the transaction costs of merchants’ activities should be studied in their own right. The pattern that thus emerges for the Low Countries between 1250 and 1500 is one in which arrangements concerning international trade were characterized by a strong complementarity of the central and the local level, rather than an antithesis between benevolent cities and predatory states.
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- Low Countries