A Revolution of Scale in Overseas Trade: British Firms in the Chesapeake Trade, 1675–1775

Jacob M. Price, Paul G.E. Clemens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-43
Number of pages43
JournalThe Journal of Economic History
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Revolution of Scale in Overseas Trade: British Firms in the Chesapeake Trade, 1675–1775'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this