Title
Gilding golden ages : perspectives from early modern Antwerp on the guild debate, c. 1450 c. 1650
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. History
Publication type
article
Publication
Cambridge ,
Subject
History
Source (journal)
European review of economic history. - Cambridge, 1996, currens
Volume/pages
15(2011) :2 , p. 221-253
ISSN
1361-4916
1474-0044
ISI
000291607700002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This article contributes to the debate about the early modern craft guilds rationale through the lens of apprenticeship. Based on a case study of the Antwerp manufacturing guilds, it argues that apprenticeship should be understood from the perspective of distributional conflicts. Fixed terms of service and masterpieces guarded the guilds labour market monopsony, enabling masters to distribute the available skilled and unskilled labour among members (among other ways, through the restriction of the number of apprentices per master). Although from the perspective of product quality, this may have enabled masters to prevent adverse selection, the introduction of standardized apprenticeship requirements was the result of social and rent-seeking concerns.
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