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Global Electrification. Multinational Enterprise and International Finance in the History of Light and Power, 1880s-1914


Author Info

  • William J. Hausman
  • Mira Wilkins
  • John L. Neufeld


This work is part of a long-term research project on global electrification. Here we focus on the initial phase of electrification, from the 1880s to 1914, when multinational enterprise and international finance played a crucial role. Electrical equipment manufacturers were first movers in the establishment of operating electric utilities; however, since electric power facilities were highly capital intensive, outside investors needed to be brought in. Utility holding companies with very complex capital structures became major players in the establishment of electric utilities around the world, as did British ?free-standing? companies. We discuss some of the European and British companies that brought light and power to the cities of the world.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue économique.

Volume (Year): 58 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 173-190

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Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_581_0173

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Cited by:
  1. Foreman-Peck, James & Hannah, Leslie, 2011. "Extreme Divorce: the Managerial Revolution in UK Companies before 1914," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2011/21, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  2. Clifton, Judith & Diaz Fuentes, Daniel & Revuelta, Julio, 2013. "Financing Utilities: How the Role of the European Investment Bank shifted from regional development to making markets," MPRA Paper 50557, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. William Kennedy & Robert Delargy, 2011. "Shorting the Future: Capital Markets and the Launch of the British Electrical Industry, 1880-1892," Economics Discussion Papers 701, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. Alexandre Macchione Saes & Felipe Pereira Loureiro, 2012. "From Foreign to State Investment in the Brazilian Electric Power Sector: the Expropriation of the American Foreign and Power in Brazil (1959-1965)," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2012_08, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  5. Norma Lanciotti & Alexandre Macchione Saes, 2013. "Companhias estrangeiras de eletricidade na Argentina e no Brasil: o caso da American & Foreign Power (1926-1965)," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2013_14, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP), revised 21 Nov 2013.
  6. Alexandre Macchione Saes & Norma Lanciotti, 2014. "Foreign Electricity Companies In Argentina & Brazil: The Case Of American & Foreign Power (1926-1965)," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 029, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].


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