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Guilds, Innovation and the European Economy, 1400–1800

$129.00 (C)

S. R. Epstein, Maarten Prak, Ulrich Pfister, Catharina Lis, Hugo Soly, Reinhold Reith, Francesca Trivellato, Liliane Perez, Anthony Turner, Ian Anders Gadd, Patrick Wallis, Michael Berlin
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  • Date Published: March 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521887175

$ 129.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • For a long time guilds have been condemned as a major obstacle to economic progress in the pre-industrial era. This re-examination of the role of guilds in the early modern European economy challenges that view by taking into account fresh research on innovation, technological change and entrepreneurship. Leading economic historians argue that industry before the Industrial Revolution was much more innovative than previous studies have allowed for and explore the different products and production techniques that were launched and developed in this period. Much of this innovation was fostered by the craft guilds that formed the backbone of industrial production before the rise of the steam engine. The book traces the manifold ways in which guilds in a variety of industries in Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Britain helped to create an institutional environment conducive to technological and marketing innovations.

    • Provides a major revision of the literature on Europe's early modern economy by challenging the traditional view of the role of guilds in that period
    • Features contributions by leading economic historians
    • Will appeal to scholars of early modern European economic history, institutional economics and social capital
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This valuable reevaluation and scholarly synthesis is essential for faculty and graduate students. Essential." -Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521887175
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    Introduction: guilds, innovation, and the European economy, 1400–1800 S. R. Epstein and Maarten Prak
    1. Craft guilds, the theory of the firm, and early modern proto-industry Ulrich Pfister
    2. Craft guilds, apprenticeship and technological change in pre-industrial Europe S. R. Epstein
    3. Subcontracting in guild-based export trades, thirteenth–eighteenth centuries Catharina Lis and Hugo Soly
    4. Circulation of skilled labour in late medieval and early modern Central Europe Reinhold Reith
    5. Painters, guilds and the art market during the Dutch Golden Age Maarten Prak
    6. Craft guilds and technological change: the engine loom in the European silk ribbon industry in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Ulrich Pfister
    7. Guilds, technology and economic change in early modern Venice Francesca Trivellato
    8. Inventing in a world of guilds: silk fabrics in eighteenth-century Lyon Liliane Perez
    9. 'Not to hurt of trade': guilds and innovation in horology and precision instrument making Anthony Turner
    10. Reaching beyond the city wall: London guilds and national regulation, 1500–1700 Ian Anders Gadd and Patrick Wallis
    11. Guilds in decline? London livery companies and the rise of a liberal economy, 1600–1800 Michael Berlin

  • Editors

    S. R. Epstein, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Maarten Prak, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands


    S. R. Epstein, Maarten Prak, Ulrich Pfister, Catharina Lis, Hugo Soly, Reinhold Reith, Francesca Trivellato, Liliane Perez, Anthony Turner, Ian Anders Gadd, Patrick Wallis, Michael Berlin

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