The most important determinant of Ottoman economic institutions and their evolution in the early modern era needs to be sought in the Empire's social structure and political economy. Merchants and producers were never in a position to influence the state elites and to push for institutional changes that would favour the growth of the private sector. As a result, many of the key institutions of the Ottoman order, including the state ownership of land and the urban guilds, remained intact until the nineteenth century. In contrast, institutions related to state borrowing changed significantly. This difference in the political power of different groups explains – better than geography or resource endowments, Islam or culture – the striking divergence in the trajectory of different factor markets
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