chapter  6
23 Pages

New Institutional Economics, euergetism, and associations

WithJohn S. Kloppenborg

The notion of transaction costs and the minimizing of those costs through the development on institutions and organizations (Williamson, 1981) has been mobilized in NIE (North, 1991, and others), and occasionally invoked for understanding the social and economic dynamics of the ancient economy in general (Bresson, 2016; Temin, 2013) and associations in particular (Broekaert, 2011; Hawkins, 2016; Venticinque, 2016; and others). The hypothesis that the growth of guilds in antiquity is to be explained on the basis of NIE has, however, come in for some criticism (Verboven, 2015; Ogilvie, 2004; Liu, 2017). This chapter will consider the extent to which NIE offers a helpful framework for thinking about ancient occupational guilds and cultic associations.