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Bazaars of the Thousand and one nights

2007-12-01
Ozveren, Eyuep
A re-reading of the Thousand and One Nights in light of economic thought is attempted here. These stories characterize a bazaar economy as the dark side of medieval economics. The process-view of the bazaar is discussed in relation to Smith, Walras and the Austrian School. The tacit notions of 'market price' and 'natural price' are touched upon. Auctions are then elaborated with reference to Bohm-Bawerk. Moreover, the role of asymmetric information as a recurrent theme is interpreted in relation with Akerlof's approach. Finally, the collective function of the tales in fostering confidence in a less-than-well instituted bazaar economy is emphasized.