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Retail development in the consumer revolution: The Netherlands, c. 1670–c. 1815

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  • van den Heuvel, Danielle
  • Ogilvie, Sheilagh

Abstract

The Netherlands pioneered an early modern ‘Retail Revolution’, facilitating the Consumer Revolution. We analyze 959 Dutch retail ratios using multivariate regressions. Retail density rose with female headship everywhere. Density was high in Holland, but moderate in intermediate provinces and low in Overijssel. Differences in retail density between large and small settlements were trivial in Holland, moderate in intermediate provinces, and prominent in Overijssel. Retail ratios stagnated everywhere across the eighteenth century but rose sharply after 1800. The Dutch Retail Revolution did not unleash ineluctable growth, we conclude, but varied significantly with agrarian structure, the institutional powers of guilds, and female autonomy.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Heuvel, Danielle & Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2013. "Retail development in the consumer revolution: The Netherlands, c. 1670–c. 1815," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 69-87.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:50:y:2013:i:1:p:69-87 DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2012.08.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2012. "Retail Ratios in the Netherlands, c. 1670 - c. 1815," Working Papers 2, Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge, revised 01 Jan 2012.
    2. Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2010. "Consumption, Social Capital, and the “Industrious Revolution” in Early Modern Germany," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(02), pages 287-325, June.
    3. Jon Stobart & Andrew Hann, 2004. "Retailing Revolution in the Eighteenth Century? Evidence from North-West England," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(2), pages 171-194.
    4. van Bavel, Bas, 2016. "Manors and Markets: Economy and Society in the Low Countries 500-1600," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198783756.
    5. Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2003. "A Bitter Living: Women, Markets, and Social Capital in Early Modern Germany," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198205548.
    6. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Arthur van Riel, 2004. "Introduction to The Strictures of Inheritance: The Dutch Economy in the Nineteenth Century," Introductory Chapters,in: The Strictures of Inheritance: The Dutch Economy in the Nineteenth Century Princeton University Press.
    7. Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Edwards, Jeremy, 2000. "Women and the “Second Serfdom”: Evidence from Early Modern Bohemia," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 961-994, December.
    8. Bruno Blondé & Ilja Van Damme, 2010. "Retail growth and consumer changes in a declining urban economy: Antwerp (1650-1750)," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(3), pages 638-663, August.
    9. ANNE E. C. McCANTS, 2008. "Poor consumers as global consumers: the diffusion of tea and coffee drinking in the eighteenth century-super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(s1), pages 172-200, August.
    10. van Zanden, Jan Luiten & van Leeuwen, Bas, 2012. "Persistent but not consistent: The growth of national income in Holland 1347–1807," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 119-130.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2014. "The Economics of Guilds," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 169-192, Fall.
    2. Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Carus, A.W., 2014. "Institutions and Economic Growth in Historical Perspective," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 403-513 Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retailing; Consumer revolution; Netherlands; Women; Guilds; Agglomeration economies; Agrarian structure;

    JEL classification:

    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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