"Deep" Integration of 19th Century Grain Markets: Coordination and Standardisation in a Global Value Chain

Velkar, Aashish (2010) "Deep" Integration of 19th Century Grain Markets: Coordination and Standardisation in a Global Value Chain. Working Paper. London School of Economics, London.

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Abstract

This paper explores the dynamics underlying integration of the international grain markets of the nineteenth century. It demonstrates that `deep¿ integration implied changes to market structures, firm strategies and the commodity being marketed. Coordination within grain markets occurred at multiple levels (markets, firms, committees, etc.) and involved various firm strategies (integration, co-specialisation, voluntary consensus, etc.). There was a greater degree of standardisation as centralised grading systems were developed by commodity exchanges in the US and UK. Greater standardization made the commodity fungible and tradable through an institutional rather than a technical process. The global value chain that emerged during this period developed governance structures and institutions to coordinate the enormous expansion in scope as well as scale of trade. Many of these structures and institutions continue to coordinate the international markets in the twenty-first century. The paper uses the global commodity value chain (GCC) approach to develop these arguments and focuses on the international wheat trade of the nineteenth century - centred on UK as the major importer. This research stresses that governance and institutions that enable global disintegration (of the value chain) crucially drives and informs our understanding of market integration ¿ they are two sides of the same historical coin.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Working Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Depositing User: Aashish Velkar
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:45
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2013 08:43
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18125
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