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Explaining London's Dominance in International Financial Services, 1870-1913

  • Sarah Cochrane
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    Contemporaries and historians have highlighted London's position as the world's leading financial centre, and its dominance of both trade financing and international capital investment at this time.� The current historical literature focuses on the presence of the London Stock Exchange and Britain's role as leader of the Gold Standard as the key reasons behind the City's position.� This paper presents a richer explanation, that treats the international financial services industry as a footloose sector that can migrate around the globe.� By focusing on how the individual merchant banks operated and the forces that were important in driving the banks to agglomerate to the City, this work provides an alternative explanation for London's dominance of financial services prior to 1913, and can explain how London was able to maintain its position for so long, despite competition from other centres.

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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper455.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 455.

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    Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:455
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    Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/Email:


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    6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
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    8. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "History and Industry Location: The Case of the Manufacturing Belt," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 80-83, May.
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    10. Flandreau, Marc & Jobst, Clemens, 2005. "The Ties that Divide. A Network Analysis of the International Monetary System," CEPR Discussion Papers 5129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Crafts, N F R & Leybourne, S J & Mills, Terence C, 1989. "The Climacteric in Late Victorian Britain and France: A Reappraisal of the Evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(2), pages 103-17, April-Jun.
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    13. Davis, Lance & Neal, Larry & White, Eugene N., 2003. "How it all began: the rise of listing requirements on the London, Berlin, Paris, and New York stock exchanges," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 117-143.
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