In seventeenth-century England the relatively open trades to America attracted ventures by hundreds of small merchants and shopkeepers. This ease of entry was checked after 1685 by very high customs duties on tobacco and intense regulation. Between 1685 and 1775 the number of firms in that trade was radically reduced and the size of the average firm increased ten to thirtyfold. Comparable if less extreme trends can be detected in the sugar, slave, and Levant trades. Insurance enabled large firms to use shipping more efficiently. The increased availability of credit also benefited larger and more secure firms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)