Path dependence, change and the emergence of the first joint-stock companies
This paper presents a model of path dependence and change and focuses on the gaining of new institutional knowledge. The main thesis is that in 'extraordinary' historical situations the possibility of change increases as a result of external pressure and successful adaptation to it. The model is tested applying it to the case study of seventeenth-century United Provinces (Dutch Republic). Such a situation existed in the sixteenth-seventeenth-century United Provinces, due to their uprising against Spanish rule. Because there existed no strong central authority, the decision-makers had to develop new institutions in order to successfully capture the lucrative spice trade from their enemies. The solution was the joint-stock company, which, through the phases of a continuous decision-making procedure, developed into the 'permanent' Dutch East India Company (VOC) in parallel also to the development of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
Volume (Year): 53 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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