Sessions of the Second Latin American Economic History Congress

September 21, 2009

Wordle: CLADHE-II: List of sessions

Here is the list of preapproved sessions  of the Second Latin American Economic History Congress (CLADHE-II), to be held in Mexico City on February 3-5, 2010. To submit a paper to any of the sessions, you have to go here.

Wordle: CLADHE-II: Lista de simposios

Magra C. (2007) For cod and country, fishermen and the American Revolution

July 14, 2009

Magra, Christopher P. (2007) “The New England Cod Fishing Industry and Maritime Dimensions of the American Revolution”8/4, Entreprise and Society, 799-806.

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Intro: “a vibrant colonial extractive industry”

During the 18th century, cod fishing (at the sale thereof to Catholic Europe) allowed the young American colonies to reap enormous profits. From 1768 to 1772, “fish contributed 35% of New England’s total export revenue, making it the single most valuable export product for the entire region”. At that time, the area haboured around 600 vessels, representing about 25,000 tons (p.799) and employing over 4,400 people. Read the rest of this entry »

On “Stocks for the Long Run”, revisited

July 14, 2009
Stocks for the Long Run

The book in question

Financial journalist and “The Inteligent Investor” columnist Jason Zweig writes in the Wall Street Journal on the consistency of long-term stock market time series used in Jeremy Siegel’s Stocks for the Long Run book. In his article, Zweig questions how useful and reliable is to analyze financial markets with (weakly constructed) historical stock-market data, and argues against a popular belief that relied on these time series, i. e., that equity returns excede bond returns in the long-term.

Read the rest of this entry »

De Vries J. (2005) The Dutch Atlantic economies

July 9, 2009

De Vries, Jan (2005) “The Dutch Atlantic Economies”, in  Peter A. Coclanis, ed., The Atlantic Economy During The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries: Organization, Operation, Practice, And Personnel, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, p.1-10.

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Buy the book on line.

Initial forays

The Dutch started venturing outside the European waters in the late 16th century. This first Dutch Atlantic economy was built upon small private commercial partnerships (partenrederijen) drawn up usually for the duration of the voyage and led by an active partner who participated to the trip (p.2). Read the rest of this entry »

Hancock D. (2003) Madeira wine: the rise of a trans-imperial market economy

July 7, 2009

Hancock, David J. (2003) “L’émergence d’une économie de réseau (1640-1815). Le vin de Madère”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 58/3, 649-672.

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English version available here (pdf).

The Atlantic during the early modern period became a coherent “functional unit” integrating three continents; as such it is an essential concept for historians (p.649). In the 18th century in particular the economic linkage intensified (p.650). The rise of the Madeira wine is part of this decentralized and self-organized growth of an integrated Atlantic space. Read the rest of this entry »

Lovejoy P. and Richardson D. (2001) Pawnship in West Africa during the slave trade

July 7, 2009

Lovejoy, Paul E. and Richardson, David (2001) “The Business of Slaving: Pawnship in Western Africa, c.1600-1810”, The Journal of African History, 42/1, 67-89.

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“The institution of pawnship, specially the use of people as collateral for credit, helped underpin the Atlantic slave trade” (p.68). Leaving people as collateral solve the trust issue attached to credit (p.69).

Several types of pawnships existed (p.70). Europeans often reported the habit for one to pawn himself if too poor to survive. People also often offered themselves as collateral for a credits and  if they failed to repay, they became slaves for debt (p.71). In domestic trade the use of pawns to guarantee a debt seem to have been fairly common in 18th-century West Africa. The institution seems to have been indigenous (p.72). Read the rest of this entry »

Drelichman M. and Voth H.-J. (2008) Was Golden Age Spain cursed?

July 6, 2009

Drelichman, Mauricio and Voth, Hans-Joachim (2008) “Institutions and the Resource Curse in Early Modern Spain”, in Helpman, Elhanan; ed. Institutions and Economic Performance, Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University Press, 34p.

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This paper is available here (pdf).


During the late 16th and 17th century, the Spanish crown defaulted several times on its debts, growth was sluggish and population eventually shrank (p.4). The cause of this failure has been known for a while: the ‘resource curse’, or in other words, the “undesirable economic outcomes associated with natural resources abundance”.

The most famous of these symptoms has been called the ‘Dutch disease’. In that case, the resource-oriented sector of the economy attracts in priority the production factors, thus depleting the innovation-rich manufactory sector and making the country dependant on import, thus deteriorating the terms of trade (p.5). Read the rest of this entry »

This Week in Economic History (May 18th-23rd, 2009)

May 17, 2009

On Monday the 18th, the  London School of Economics Business History Unit Seminar will host James Walker and Peter Scott (Henley Business School at the University of Reading). They will present a paper on “Sales and Advertising Rivalry in Interwar US Department Stores”.  That same day, there will be an interesting conference on “Work and living standards in Africa in the long run“. Gareth Austin (LSE), Issiaka Mandé (Université Paris-Diderot), Alexander Moradi (University of Sussex) and Denis Cogneau (PSE et IRD) will discuss their papers in ENS, Paris.

On Tuesday the 19th, there will be a conference on “Cuisine régionale, cuisine de ville. Histoire et identités régionales”, by Massimo Montanari, at Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7.  A two-day international conference on Sailing History begins on Tuesday in Granada. There is also an interesting seminar on “The Long Term Effects of the Ottoman Empire: Financial Development in the Regions of Europe”, by Pauline Grosjean, at Berkeley University.

On Thursday, May 21st, a two-day conference will begin in London, this on “Writing the History of the Global“. Economic historians such as Jan Luiten van Zanden, Sevket Pamuk and Patrick O’Brien, among others will participate on a topic that has caught the attention of many colleagues around the world. The organizers will post multimedia records in ITunesU: we’ll inform whenever they are available. In Barcelona, a workshop on “Innovation Economy and History of Science and Technology. The Making of the Contemporary Pharmaceutical Research System” begins that same day.

There will be a two-day open conference in Mexico City to discuss the chapters of the coming book “Historia económica general de México. De la colonia a nuestros días“. Internationally-known scholars, such as Stephen Haber (Stanford), Alan Knight (Oxford), John Coatsworth (Columbia) and Gabriel Tortella (Universidad de Alcalá de Henares) will discuss a collective book that will definitely be a cornerstone in Mexican economic history.

Do you know of any other relevant economic history event in  your country? Please let us know!

Barros A. (2005) Porto’s maritime space in the early modern period

September 14, 2008

Barros Amândio Jorge Morais (2005) “Oporto: The Building of a Maritime Space in the Early Modern Period”, e-Journal of Portuguese History, 3/1, 13 p.

The article is available online


This article distances itself from the usual macroeconomic approach of the Iberian trade focused on the colonial circuits, which concentrate its attention on the ports of Seville and Lisbon. Exogenous events are also usually favoured in the interpretation of the Iberian sea trade’s successes and failures. On the contrary, the author aims at providing a micro-analysis of the activity of the port of Oporto during the 16th century (1). Read the rest of this entry »

Polónia A. (2006) Northwestern Portuguese seaports (1500-1800)

September 7, 2008

Polónia Amélia (2006) “Northwest Portuguese seaport system in the early modern age. Results of a research project”, paper given at the XIV International Economic History Congress, Helsinki, Session 58, 27p.

The images presented in the following post have been shamelessly stolen from a paper available on line. For more information please visit the Hisportos website.

This paper adopts a micro-analysis approach of the question, while most other recent researches on seaport were seeing the issue at a global scale (1). The author stresses the importance of integrating the port towns in their regional background; the ports’ hinterlands take in this approach a crucial importance. The concept of ‘seaport system’ is meant to reflect the extreme complexity of the ports’ social, cultural, political, and economic spheres. Away from the issues of hierarchy, the author is interested by small ports (2) and how they complement each other when integrated in a network. Major port themselves often rely on these networks to reach and retain their standing. Read the rest of this entry »

Reis Mourão P. (2007) The Company of the Port Wines in the 18th century

August 17, 2008

Reis Mourão Paulo (2007) “Uma visao integrada sobre a Companhia das Vinhas do Alto Douro”, Fênix. Revista de História e Estudos Culturais, 4/3, 11p.

This article is available on line

The creation of the Company of the Wines of the High Douro took place at a time when many of these companies were created by the state. By the 1740s when the talks about the creation of the company started, Port wines (or Oporto wines as they were then called) had already a thousands years history and had met international success on the western European markets since the 1600s. Read the rest of this entry »

Studnicki-Gizbert D. (2002) Portuguese commercial networks in the early modern Atlantic

August 3, 2008

Studnicki-Gizbert Daviken (2002) “Interdependence and the collective pursuit of profits: Portuguese commercial networks in the early modern Atlantic”, Curto Diogo Ramada and Molho Anthony eds., European University Institute Working Paper, 2, Commercial Networks in the Early Modern World, 90-120.

This article is available on line (pdf).


The Portuguese merchant network or nation was one of the “most dynamic institutions of transnational and inter-regional trade of the early modern period” (91). A nation was a community of foreign merchants distinguished from the local society and institutionally and/or socially bond together. Read the rest of this entry »