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What can we learn about the embeddedness of commercial relationships from the study of powers of attorney?: (France, 18th-19th centuries)

Abstract : This working paper gives the preliminary results of a research project on the uses of notarized powers of attorney in four large French commercial cities in the 18th and 19th centuries. Powers of attorney are often considered as symptoms of trust. We use them to test hypotheses on the embeddedness of commercial relationships. We find little support for the idea of an evolution from embedded to anonymous relationships. We therefore explore alternative hypotheses centered on the complementarity between embeddedness and formality; the importance of repeated interactions; and a broad homophily driving merchants to choose fellow merchants as proxies.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 3:51:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 11:49:13 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, December 2, 2016 - 7:32:43 AM

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Fabien Eloire, Claire Lemercier, Veronica Aoki Santarosa. What can we learn about the embeddedness of commercial relationships from the study of powers of attorney?: (France, 18th-19th centuries). 2016. ⟨hal-01358364⟩

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