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Guildsmen, Entrepreneurs and Market Segments: The Case of the Garment Trades in Antwerp and Ghent (Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)


The present essay links the social, institutional and cultural approaches of guilds and guildsmen with their daily economic practice. Using as the point of departure a case study of the Antwerp and Ghent garment trades during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, a preliminary model is presented, stressing the interrelatedness between divergent strategies, behavioural practices and specific market segments. It is argued that the choice of artisans for a certain market segment implied path dependency and, hence, influenced their investment patterns, their labour relations, their attitude towards the guild, and their personal representation in daily life.

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International Review of Social History
  • ISSN: 0020-8590
  • EISSN: 1469-512X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-review-of-social-history
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