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The Making of the Ancient Greek EconomyInstitutions, Markets, and Growth in the City-States$
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Alain Bresson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183411

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183411.001.0001

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The Institutions of the Domestic Market

The Institutions of the Domestic Market

(p.225) IX The Institutions of the Domestic Market
The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy

Alain Bresson

, Steven Rendall
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the institutions of the domestic market system in the Greek city-states. It begins with a discussion of private property in relation to trade, noting that, in the framework of the kind of collective appropriation constituted by the city-state, citizens were free to use their property as they wished. It then considers the city-states' law and legal practices relating to transactions, with particular emphasis on the law of sale and contracts, before exploring the agora as a legal space and as a marketplace connected with other official places of exchange that were also institutionalized. The chapter goes on to describe buying and selling in the agora, legal constraints on the agora, supervision of contracts and production, and the authority of the agoranomoi (magistrates). It concludes with an analysis of informational asymmetry and guarantee of sales in commercial trade, along with price control policies for commodities on sale.

Keywords:   market system, private property, trade, transactions, agora, contracts, agoranomoi, informational asymmetry, price control

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