Essays in Economic & Business History https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs <p>Currently in its 40th year of publication, <em>Essays in Economic &amp; Business History</em> now operates as an on-line open access journal. Articles for the journal are selected by double blind review process. EEBH provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. In this same spirit, accepted articles awaiting the next print issue are made available on-line as soon as the editorial process is completed.</p> The Economic and Business History Society en-US Essays in Economic & Business History 0896-226X Major League Baseball and the Competition for Leisure Dollars in America, 1920-1941 https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/441 <p>Major League Baseball faced increased competition from radio broadcasts and improvements in motion pictures during the 1920s and 1930s. The “Roaring Twenties” were followed by the Great Depression. As social norms changed, some owners fought for the right to stage home games on Sundays. Owners put an increased emphasis on promoting home runs, eventually allowed radio broadcasts, and added lights to their stadiums. We include variables for these changes, to estimate the effects upon both home attendance and owners’ net income between 1920 and 1941. Team performance, home runs, number of Sundays a team had home games, the installation of lighting, and radio broadcasts of games, all raised attendance while increases in the unemployment rate reduced it. Of these, the number of Sundays on which a team had home games, radio broadcasts, and the unemployment rate had no effect on real net income. All the other variables that raised attendance also raised real net income.</p> David George Surdam Bryce E. Kanago Kenneth H. Brown Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-30 2022-01-30 39 1 16 Grassroots and Local Initiatives Versus the Architect’s Design During China’s Reform and Opening Process https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/442 <p>China’s rapid economic growth since 1978 has been mainly credited to the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), especially Deng Xiaoping, in the official narratives. This article examines key events before and during China’s reform and opening, and concludes that the enterprising spirit of ordinary Chinese people and grassroots initiatives are the real driving forces of China’s rapid growth. The main role of Deng and the CPC leadership was permissive to the grassroots initiatives. Deng Xiaoping’s “Uphold Four Cardinal Principles” has shut the door for political reform and kept state control of key economic sectors.</p> Qing-Ping Ma Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-30 2022-01-30 39 17 44 Accounting Controls at the Kelheim Brewery in the Seventeenth Century–Single Entry Accounting as Fit for Purpose https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/443 <p>Prior to the arguably superior double-entry system of accounting, single-entry accounting was used widely. Extant literature on single-entry accounting suggests it remained in use well after the advent of double-entry, with ease of use cited as a key reason. However, there may be other reasons which have not been revealed in the literature. This study explores how single-entry accounting was utilized at the Kelheim brewery in Bavaria, Germany during the seventeenth century. It finds an organizational field in which single-entry accounting was fit for purpose. Single-entry accounting provided sufficient information and accountability, implying the more sophisticated double-entry accounting system was not used although it was known in Germany at this time.</p> Martin Quinn Gerhard Kristandl Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-30 2022-01-30 39 45 71 Recoveries from Financial Crises: The United States and Argentina in the 1890s https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/446 <p>The United States and Argentina both experienced severe financial crises in the early 1890s. The causes of these crises have been studied in depth. Here, I analyze the recoveries from these crises, comparing the factors that propelled or hindered renewed economic growth, focusing on how changes in commodity prices and trade policies impacted post-crisis economic activity. Sustained recovery only occurred in the United States when wheat prices surged in 1897. Likewise, recovery was delayed after the Baring Crisis in Argentina in part because of decreased prices for agricultural exports, and renewed growth ultimately coincided with higher export prices. Increases in tariff rates also occurred during these recovery periods, though most consistently in the United States. However, the evidence suggests that higher commodity prices played more of a role in encouraging post-crisis economic growth than did trade policy changes in these countries over this period.</p> Peter H. Bent Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 72 104 Governing the Enterprise: The Transition from Welfare Capitalism to Human Relations in Post-World War Two Italian Business https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/445 <p>Although company welfare has been discussed at great length in international historiography, only in recent years have works been published that analyze its persistence over time. Detailed research has concentrated on the decades following World War Two, which saw the radical modernization of European business culture under the influence of studies made in the USA. In Italy in particular, Human Relations had an impact on the concept of the company and became the subject of a broad debate, whose many participants included members of the government, trade unions, industrialists, and even the country’s leading companies.&nbsp; I examine how Human Relations was perceived and what it actually signified to the different participants in the debate. This is the first step towards evaluating its real impact on company welfare; it reveals the persistence and further expansion of company welfare, which nevertheless came into conflict with state welfare in the decades following the economic boom in the 1950s and 1960s. The singularity of the Italian situation on the persistence and development of company welfare requires a broad comparison with the international situation, which, in turn, requires study of important Italian cases.</p> Valerio Varini Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 105 128 The Dutch Sappanwood Trade in the Eighteenth Century https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/447 <p>In the eighteenth century, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) traded sappanwood, a source of red dye for textiles, in both its Dutch-Asiatic and intra-Asian trade routes. The voyage and cargo records kept by the VOC's bookkeeper-general in Batavia reveal a small but convenient trade that complemented the Company's better-known dealings in spices and textiles. The VOC shipped Siamese and Indonesian sappanwood to the Dutch Republic and Asian markets regularly but in small quantities relative to other goods. Sappanwood was a useful ballast for VOC ships resulting in low-cost shipping for the commodity. In Europe, the VOC earned healthy margins by supplying a competitive red dyestuff to the continent's burgeoning textile industry. In Asia, sappanwood contributed to the VOC's intra-Asian trade system as a commodity useful in acquiring more lucrative goods, especially copper from Japan.</p> Cameron J.G. Dodge Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 129 147 An Examination of Illinois Free Banks: Bank Ownership, Operations, and Free Bank Failures https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/458 <p>This article re-examines Illinois free banking from a new perspective: ownership structure.&nbsp; The claim that ownership influenced banking activity and noteholder losses is analyzed, and it is shown that ownership did not have a major impact on asset allocation and losses.&nbsp; Only Chicago residents who owned banks elsewhere appear to have used the banks for their interests.&nbsp; They neither issued loans to borrowers other than themselves or accepted deposits.&nbsp; Private bankers used free banks as a source of banknotes.&nbsp; A large proportion of the free banks had overlapping ownership, resulting in specie minimization.&nbsp; Private bankers, whether local or from Chicago, and local owners were more likely to operate as traditional banks.&nbsp; All free banks were impacted by the 1853 change in the tax code, leading to fewer loans, more loans to stockholders, and more deposits in other banks.&nbsp; Free banks owned by Chicago private bankers generally closed without noteholders suffering losses.&nbsp; For closed banks owned by other ownership groups noteholder losses depended on the nature of the bonds held by the bank.</p> Andrew Economopoulos Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-02-04 2022-02-04 39 148 168 War at Sea–Portugal, Navigation and Maritime Commerce during World War One https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/460 <p>This article presents new research on the Portuguese Maritime Front during World War One, especially regarding the German submarine war off the Portuguese coast. One subject, in particular, has remained obscure for many contemporary Portuguese historians: the direct and indirect impacts of the German submarine war on the Portuguese economy. In this article, we correlate the material losses provoked by German submarines in the Portuguese Atlantic with fluctuations in maritime commerce during the Great War. This approach sheds new light on how the war at sea affected the economies of peripheral countries like Portugal.</p> Miguel Castro Brandão Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-02-06 2022-02-06 39 169 187 Financialization, Financial Elites, and the Changing Genres of Financial and Banking History https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/448 <p>This article undertakes a critical comparison of two books­–<em>Private Banking in Europe: Rise, Retreat, and Resurgence </em>by Youssef Cassis and Philip Cottrell, and <em>Financial Elites and European Banking: Historical Perspectives</em>, edited by Youssef Cassis and Giuseppe Telesca–to explore how different genres of financial history and banking history have been written, and how the nature of financial history appears to be changing in relation to the rise of research on financialization and the social studies or finance/critical financial studies. The article argues that these genre differences are reflective of different methodological practices, theoretical and ethical concerns, and aesthetic preferences. The article concludes by arguing for greater engagement between financial history (especially that which intersects with business history) and the emerging research that embraces the social studies of finance.</p> Simon Mollan Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 188 205 The New History of Capitalism and the Methodologies of Economic History https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/449 <p>The rise of the “New History of Capitalism” as a subfield of historical studies has magnified differences between economists and historians which started to grow during the 1970s. We describe what is and what is not new about the New History of Capitalism and explain how the different methodologies of economists and historians often cause confusion about their fields’ respective advantages. We also emphasize that these different methodologies allow ample room for collaboration between the disciplines.</p> Vincent Geloso Judge Glock Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 206 221 The Empirics of Finance: Comments on Mollan (2021) and Geloso and Glock (2021) in this volume https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/450 <p>This article comments on the papers by Mollan (2021) and Geloso and Glock (2021) appearing in this volume.</p> Susie J. Pak Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 222 225 Book Review Essay: Making a Modern Central Bank: The Bank of England 1979-2003, by Harold James, Cambridge University Press 2020, 543 pages. https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/451 <p>Writers about the past fall into two categories. Historians like Harold James, the latest official historian of the Bank of England, are, if you like, members of the jury at the court of history. They have access to all the evidence that endures, above all written records. This reviewer, by contrast, was a witness to some of the events, having worked for the Bank of England throughout the period that the book chronicles. Readers should bear in mind that witnesses suffer from memory failures and prejudices; however they may remember things that weren’t recorded, and they have generally had a long time to think about what happened. This review is mainly about what I observed and remember. There is a lot in the book that I didn’t know, which supports James’ contention that internal communication in the Bank of England was not always extensive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> William A. Allen Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 226 235 Quinn, William, and John D. Turner. Boom and Bust: A Global History of Financial Bubbles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/453 Youssef Cassis Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 236 237 Şimşek, Erhan. Creating Realities: Business as a Motif in American Fiction, 1865-1929. New York: Transcript Publishing, 2019. https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/454 Ranjit Dighe Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 238 239 Harris, Ron. Going the Distance: Eurasian Trade and the Rise of the Business Corporation, 1400-1700. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020. https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/455 Rodrigo da Costa Dominguez Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 240 241 Hansen, Mary Eschelbach, and Bradley A. Hansen, Bankrupt in America: A History of Debtors, Their Creditors, and Law in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020. https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/456 Judge Glock Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 242 243 Mitchell, Matthew David. The Prince of Slavers: Humphry Morice and the Transformation of Britain’s Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1698-1732. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan, 2020. 317 Pp. https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/457 Abigail Swingen Copyright (c) 2022 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-02-03 2022-02-03 39 244 245 Janigan, Mary. The Art of Sharing: The Richer versus the Poorer Provinces since Confederation. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020. https://www.ebhsoc.org/journal/index.php/ebhs/article/view/452 Trevor Tombe Copyright (c) 2021 Essays in Economic & Business History 2022-01-31 2022-01-31 39 246 247