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Micro-economics of quality and social construction of the market : disputes among the London leather trades in the eighteenth-century

Mikroökonomie der Qualität und die soziale Konstruktion des Marktes : Dispute unter den Londoner Ledergewerben im 18. Jahrhundert
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Minard, Philippe

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Abstract "The London leather market inherited an age-old regulation framework. But some harsh disputes among the leather trades in the Eighteenth Century reactivated the debate about norms and mies. Disputes between butchers, tanners and curriers revolved less around the principle of the quality control than around its intrinsic definition, leading to a significant shift: the former definition of quality as an absolute, defined by precise norms ('regulated quality') is challenged by a more flexible definition, the 'deliberated quality' established by a jury formed by representatives of each trade. Hence quality turns out to be a pure convention, grounded on a deliberative process. This case study, by approaching norms of quality and certification process from the point of view of the actors of the market instead of adopting the former cliché of free-market versus regulation and control, sheds light on the need to set a new ground to discuss these issues." (author's abstract)
Keywords eighteenth century; nineteenth century; Great Britain; commerce; standard; quality; leather working industry; microeconomics; social construction
Classification Manufacturing; Social History, Historical Social Research
Method historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 150-168
Journal Historical Social Research, 36 (2011) 4
Issue topic Conventions and institutions from a historical perspective / Konventionen und Institutionen in historischer Perspektive
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works