On cognitive functions interrupted (and the growth of two retail corporations in the US)

October 26, 2009

I haven’t been able to write much since the equivalent of a permanent shock affected my production function as well as its slope (break ups are always hard, being the dumpee is even worse, in the long run we are all dead).

I’m slowly regaining use of my cognitive functions. For I don’t want to leave Ben alone in this blog any longer, I thought of posting two maps showing the growth of two retail corporations in the US: Wal Mart (1962-2006) and Target (1962-2008).

This might interest fans of urban and regional economics (or not). Anyway, I promise that the quality of my contributions to this awesome blog will increase. Just have a little faith on me.


McCants A. (2008) The diffusion of tea and coffee drinking in the 18th-century Netherlands

January 26, 2009

McCants Anne E.C. (2008) “Poor consumers as global consumers: the diffusion of tea and coffee drinking in the eighteenth century”, Economic History Review, 61/S1, 172-200.



The 17th century saw the introduction of “foods would entirely eclipse the centrality of bread in the rituals of western sociability” (p.172). The idea of a consumer revolution may sound far fetched since the industry lacked the power to reshape the structure of demand and the colonial trade only accounted for 17% of the Dutch international trade at its peak in the 18th century (or 1% of GNP of western Europe and 10% of gross investment; p.173). So were colonial goods (tea, coffee, chocolate, tobacco and sugar), generally considered a significant part of the Industrious Revolution, as important as they are commonly thought to be? Read the rest of this entry »