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Seeking out and building monopolies, Rothschild strategies in non ferrous metals international markets (1830-1940)


  • Miguel A. López-Morell

    () (Universidad de Murcia)

  • Jos M. O'Kean

    () (Departamento de Economía, Universidad Pablo de Olavide & IE Business School)


The aim of this article is to analyse the strategies employed by the Rothschilds until 1940 to limit competition in the non ferrous international market. We will study how they opted for rigid demand products of highly concentrated supply which were favourable to market control (mercury, nickel, lead and copper and sulphur) by assuming administrative monopolies (mercury from Spanish Almadn Mines) or through control of the leading businesses of the respective markets (Le Nickel, Pearroya and Rio Tinto). We will also analyse how the family was able to gain worldwide monopolies, or if not, how they promoted collusive oligopolies with the competition in any number of forms in their quest to maintain profitability and to flee from any competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel A. López-Morell & Jos M. O'Kean, 2010. "Seeking out and building monopolies, Rothschild strategies in non ferrous metals international markets (1830-1940)," Working Papers 10.17, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:10.17

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Youngsub Chun, 1999. "Equivalence of Axioms for Bankruptcy Problems," Working Paper Series no1, Institute of Economic Research, Seoul National University.
    2. Carmen Herrero & Ricardo Martínez, 2011. "Allocation problems with indivisibilities when preferences are single-peaked," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 453-467, December.
    3. Carmen Herrero & Antonio Villar, 2002. "Sustainability in bankruptcy problems," TOP: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer;Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, vol. 10(2), pages 261-273, December.
    4. Hervé Moulin & Richard Stong, 2002. "Fair Queuing and Other Probabilistic Allocation Methods," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 1-30, February.
    5. Youngsub Chun, 1999. "Equivalence of axioms for bankruptcy problems," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 28(4), pages 511-520.
    6. William Thomson, 2011. "Consistency and its converse: an introduction," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 15(4), pages 257-291, December.
    7. Carmen Herrero & Ricardo Martínez, 2008. "Balanced allocation methods for claims problems with indivisibilities," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(4), pages 603-617, May.
    8. Thomson, W., 1996. "Consistent Allocation Rules," RCER Working Papers 418, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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    More about this item


    International Raw material markets; Cartels; Rothschild; mining; Non-ferrous metals.;

    JEL classification:

    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L72 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Other Nonrenewable Resources

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