By Tim Newark & Angus McBride
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Paperback version 1994
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North, ‘Transaction costs’, 559–60, 571–2; North, Structure and Change, p. 19; North, Institutions; Persson, Pre-Industrial Economic Growth, p. 36. 138 Traditional cultural forms were not necessarily incompatible or less efficient than modern, formal market arrangements. Institutions could be stable because parties found it in their own interests to follow the rules, and this can refer to both economic logic and cultural imperatives. Moral norms could modify the degree to which participants maximised at the margins of production, especially when there was consensus as to accepted moral behaviour.
121 Indeed, the uniqueness of the ‘modern’ acquisitive urge and exchange mentality has been questioned. Alan Macfarlane posited that individualistic and profit-oriented people were 115 117 118 119 121 116 Gurevich, ‘The merchant’, pp. 275–7. Postan, Medieval Economy, pp. 225–6. Ashley, Introduction, i, ch. 3; Cunningham, Growth, pp. 9–10. See also Sombart, Quintessence of Capitalism. North and Thomas, Rise, p. 92; Bridbury, ‘Markets and freedom’, pp. 85–6. 120 Dyer, An Age, ch. 2. Muldrew, ‘From a “light cloak”’, pp.
Dyer, An Age, pp. 107–12. Britnell, Commercialisation, pp. 121–3; Bolton, Medieval English Economy, p. 137. For a further discussion of peasants and the market, see Schofield, Peasant and Community, pp. 131–56; Dyer, Making a Living, pp. 163–78. Campbell, English Seigniorial Agriculture, pp. 411–14, 424–30. 5–6 million in the early fourteenth century to 2–3 million during the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with little sign of recovery during the latter period; Hatcher, Plague, pp. 25, 55–7, 68–9.