‘Deep’ integration of 19th century grain markets: coordination and standardisation in a global value chain
AbstractThis paper explores the dynamics underlying integration of the international grain markets of the nineteenth century. It demonstrates that ‘deep’ integration implied changes to market structures, firm strategies and the commodity being marketed. Coordination within grain markets occurred at multiple levels (markets, firms, committees, etc.) and involved various firm strategies (integration, co-specialisation, voluntary consensus, etc.). There was a greater degree of standardisation as centralised grading systems were developed by commodity exchanges in the US and UK. Greater standardization made the commodity fungible and tradable through an institutional rather than a technical process. The global value chain that emerged during this period developed governance structures and institutions to coordinate the enormous expansion in scope as well as scale of trade. Many of these structures and institutions continue to coordinate the international markets in the twenty-first century. The paper uses the global commodity value chain (GCC) approach to develop these arguments and focuses on the international wheat trade of the nineteenth century - centred on UK as the major importer. This research stresses that governance and institutions that enable global disintegration (of the value chain) crucially drives and informs our understanding of market integration – they are two sides of the same historical coin.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 28988.
Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: LSE, Dept. of Economic History Houghton Street London, WC2A 2AE, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7955 7084
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
- N0 - Economic History - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSE Research Online manager).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.