A Successful Case of Institutional Optimality before Its Time: What Lessons for the 21st Century?

  • Oleh Havrylyshyn
  • Nora Srzentić
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


In Chapter 4 we sketched out the lives and activities of some of the major historical figures in Ragusa, both nobles and rich commoners, starting with the apocryphal description of Pasko Vukasic, member of one of the first families to engage in silver trade of Serbia and Bosnia in the latter part of the 13th century. Whether he in fact was so awestruck at the first sight of Ragusa’s city walls coming from the South we do not know, but we do know that many tourists today are. And so are the authors each time it happens. Usually academic research is motivated by something one finds puzzling or unclear, or unanswered in the literature; the authors are not shy in admitting that our motivation was exactly these views of the majestic city walls of Dubrovnik over recent years, and the eventual intellectual question it raised: how did this small city-state become so wealthy? Only then did we begin to delve into the literature on Dubrovnik/Ragusa.


Economic History City Wall Preceding Century Tourist Revenue Century Commercial Court 
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© Oleh Havrylyshyn and Nora Srzentić 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oleh Havrylyshyn
  • Nora Srzentić

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