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Cities of CommerceThe Institutional Foundations of International Trade in the Low Countries, 1250-1650$
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Oscar Gelderblom

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142883

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142883.001.0001

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The Organization of Exchange

The Organization of Exchange

(p.42) Chapter 3 The Organization of Exchange
Cities of Commerce

Oscar Gelderblom

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the creation of spot markets as a means for foreign traders in Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam to find buyers or sellers and negotiate deals with them. It first considers how public vending locations were constantly adapted to the size and composition of the merchant community before discussing how the work of local hostellers and brokers was regulated to ensure the availability of current commercial information to all merchants at low cost. It then examines the ability of resident traders to pass over local intermediaries and organize their own information supply by focusing on the business of one merchant, Hans Thijs, a jeweler from Antwerp who settled in Amsterdam in 1595. It also assesses the extent to which the urban magistrates were willing, in the interest of the merchant community at large, to align the financial reward for the hostellers' services with the value they added to the business of individual merchants.

Keywords:   spot markets, foreign traders, Bruges, Antwerp, Amsterdam, hostellers, brokers, merchants, Hans Thijs, urban magistrates

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